It’s snowing right now… not downward, as snow usually falls, but sideways. Snow is flying sideways past our windows. We immediately took this to be evidence of a chemical attack.

Vim: It’s the APOCALYPSE!

Maria (shrugging): I wouldn’t mind dying with y’all.

It snowed this morning. Yesterday it was at least 65 degrees. Today, it’s 35. How does that happen? I’m worried about the little flowers on all the cherry trees and dogwood trees. The buds opened yesterday, suddenly, turning all those twiggy trees into blossom-y clouds… will they all freeze today?

On Saturday I met up with two new friends, Maria and Jill, at the National Kite Festival on the Mall. Lots o’ little kids and their bright kites… there wasn’t much wind, so they just ran along the Mall pulling the kites behind them. It was nice to be outside after such a cold winter. It was a little eerie to walk around freely under an open blue sky when I’d just watched the bombing of Baghdad the night before on T.V. … The stark contrast made me feel a little guilty. But after about half an hour of wandering, we started playing frisbee. So instead of feeling guilty I began concentrating on throwing and catching and not falling down.

Yet again, I’m reminded that I’m not great at handling any kind of change, transition, or disruption of my general routine. I’m a sensitive sort.

Vim: We’re going to war, aren’t we?
Me: We’re all going to die, aren’t we?
Vim (shuffling papers): But look at all this work we’re doing.
Me: Just more paper to fly out the windows of the building when it explodes.
Vim: Maybe I shouldn’t staple these then. For greater effect.

I went to a peace vigil at the Lincoln Memorial last night… beautiful…. hundreds of candles lit like stars around me, I sat on the edge of the Reflecting Pool with the Washington Monument glowing white behind me and the Lincoln Memorial glowing white in front of me. The silent crowd held dripping white candles in the misty rain while Peter, Paul and Mary played the gentle acoustic peace songs that I learned in elementary school. This land is your land….

“Let’s pretend this is all a big existential play. That makes it better, doesn’t it?” — Maria, as we lugged huge boxes of books to the office

“All staff should now be busting a move. Attention, all staff should now be busting a move.” — Maxie, as our office CD player plays Sarah’s Millenium Hip-Hop CD

Ah, the thesaurus. Haven’t cracked open one since the dawn of the built-in Microsoft Word kind. But the Visual Thesaurus is prettier and more useful. (Thanks to Shayna, my fellow language snob.)

In the megaphone, some thoughts about telling stories. At the conference of parents and teachers on Saturday, a lot of people talked about how we learn to read and love reading by hearing stories when we’re children.

Friction, yarn

Saturday was a day of sights and sounds and people all working together and against each other, but either way discussing. Human friction, human connection. The organization I work for was holding a conference for DC parents and teachers on Saturday. At 8:30am, we arrived to set things up at the charter school we’d rented. As we walked from the parking garage to the school, pro-lifers began praying and a pro-choice escort an in orange vest asked us if we were going in. I guess I hadn’t noticed that clinic before.

We set things up in a mad rush of teamwork. And despite a few sticking points, the conference went beautifully — I felt a little glow-y most of the day, even as I ran up and down five flights of stairs (the elevator was out of service.) Parents and teachers talked about how to get more parents involved in their kids’ education. I was expecting people to be a little resistant, or sullen, at spending their Saturday with us. But they loved it. At lunchtime, the sun came out and I sat on the roof deck with a teacher originally from Croatia, who told me how she taugh on a little Croatian island for six years before coming to D.C.

After the conference, Maria and I joined the Code Pink rally and met up with Meredith and Anna. All the protesters were holding onto one bajillion-foot long piece of pink yarn as organizers tried to get them to surround the White House completely — a few blocks’ radius away from the actual building.

I felt like I was in that scene of Almost Famous, where Penny Lane is dancing in the empty ballroom with all the pretty floaty pink streamers as Tiny Dancer plays. Young activist-y looking women, old women who’d dyed their hair pink with Kool-Aid, middle-aged women with children, everyone all in floaty pink things, roses in their hair, walking and encircling the White House with pink yarn. Of course, then the yarn broke, right where Maria and I were walking. We just stopped for a sec in shock. We’d killed the peace! Then we knotted it back together and tried to pretend it was all a big metaphor.