The week that went by was a good one. It was heartening to see a plane make an exceptionally skilled and flawlessly executed landing in the Hudson and all 155 passengers and crew rescued. Kudos to Captain Sullenberger, the crew of US Air Flight 1549 and all the rescuers who rushed to the rescue scene without a second thought.

The way things have been, the weather, the economy, the general greyness, one needed a bright spot like that. It was like the sun waiting to emerge from the greyness in the picture below:

The coming week will be short and sweet and eminently livable with the Obama inauguration to watch. He can’t be the solution to all our woes but he has to be better than this:

The conference rooms at work will be set up with big screen TVs and refreshments so we can all see the inauguration ceremony. It will certainly be pleasurable to see the nation heaving a collective sigh of relief as he is sworn into office. The crowds are gathering at Washington D.C. and the city is stretched to capacity.

I saw someone being interviewed, someone who had traveled to D.C. from some other part of the country. He was asked what his expectations were from the new president and he said, “I want peace on Earth”. Now that’s normally a generic statement that anyone from vacuous celebs to vacuous beauty contestants usually mouth off without giving it any real thought, but this Joe Citizen said it in a voice wrought with emotion, his eyes brimming with tears as he said it once and then repeated it in a trembling voice. I found that scene very touching. There was such a hint of desperation in his voice as if he was personally struggling with the weight of the world and finding its various crises unbearable, untenable and was just seeking some kind of relief.

Hope is very much in the air; as always, the only thing remaining in the box Pandora opened. I was reading an interview of Bruce Springsteen in The Guardian and in it he said at some point during the interview that we could use the word “hopefully” again.

I am hopeful too even if I saw so many major retailers boarded up and sporting liquidation signs all along Route 10, a jamming retail stretch around East Hanover and Livingston, NJ. I couldn’t bear to see some of the names of the stores going out of business…Circuit City, Comp USA, Linen’s n’ Things…all falling down one by one…reminding me of that nursery rhyme we all loved as kids…the one that really was all about the bubonic plague…we all fall down

A pocket full of posies;
ashes! ashes!
we all fall down.

This is the commercial equivalent of the bubonic plague, or certainly feels like it. But yes there’s hope. We still have hope.

Life is all about learning new things, jumping for joy, setting up a microcosm of a charmed life for various dolls and hugs and kisses:

Hope personified!

Which brings me to another thing that held my attention, another excerpt from Mark Hagen’s interview with Bruce Springsteen:

MH Do you still feel like that 12-year-old?

BS “Of course. There is no part of yourself that you leave behind; it can’t be done. You can’t remove any part of yourself, you can only manage the different parts of yourself. There’s a car, it’s filled with people. The 12-year-old kid’s in the back. So’s the 22-year-old. So is the 40-year-old. So is the 50-year-old guy that’s done pretty well, so’s the 40-year-old guy that likes to screw up. So’s the 30-year-old guy that wants to get his hands on his wheel and put the pedal to the metal, and drive you into a tree.

“That’s never going to change. Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s getting thrown out by the roadside. The doors are shut, locked and sealed, until you go into your box. But who’s driving makes a really big difference about where the car is going. And if the wrong guy’s at the wheel, it’s crash time. You want the latest model of yourself at the wheel, the part of you that’s sussed some of this out and can drive you someplace where you want to go.”

I know I carry around all my “selves” with me for sure…it’s a rather packed car I drive. I shared the above quote with a friend who was prompt enough to offer the rejoinder that at times she felt that her latest model was less competent! Well yes…there’s that…although I certainly feel that I have “sussed some of this out” even if I am not all the way there yet. So many fears and weaknesses have fallen by the wayside, so many strengths acquired along with new weaknesses, new fears and new hopes…so the Boss’s point is well made…you do want the latest model of yourself at the wheel. You want your “years-in-the-making-Capt.-Sullenberger” at your wheel.

That was just some of the stuff I was thinking about, wandering through the walkways and alleys of my brain, absorbing and evaluating things I’d heard and read and seen in the past week and trying to make some sense of it all.

I’ll end this note with a picture that makes no sense at all:

This is the view from my office window and every other day I see the billowing, white curtains! Billowing curtains in the dead of winter…what is up with that??

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