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Monday, Nov. 12, 2001
One of the most frequent things I read in the land of Diaries is a plea for forgiveness of writers block. "I can't think of anything to write about, so I won't." Poof, gone.

Sometimes I think I have too many things to say, too many stories. That if I don't start getting them out of my head the generated heat will combust my brain and toast my fingertips.

Last night I was wondering how exactly I would describe the feeling of harmony in music. Male harmony from a Men's Choir. The best of which we import from overseas.

King's College, Cambridge. England. In the British way of providing addresses, there might be an Oxford tucked in there somewhere.

Two or three days after the 9/11, I watched a live broadcast from England. For many, it ought to serve as the motherland because like it or not, a whole ton of our ancestors jumped over the pond from there.

Every Christmas, I watch for and listen to 'A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols' from St. Johns Cathedral at the Kings College. It's a radio broadcast carried on NPR. If you haven't heard it, you really, and honestly, haven't lived a full life. They start the program by walking to the fore of the cathedral singing 'Once in Royal David's City'. It still brings a chill, after years of hearing it. The Men's choir. Yes, for the love of God. It will wrap you up, it will bring tears.

The broadcast for the week of 9/11 was a memorial from a cathedral in London. There were thousands of people both inside and out. But when they turned on the men and boy's choir, that was it for me.

There's nothing in this world that speaks of civilization, of timelessness, of the goodness man is capable of better than that sound. I sang in an Americanized version of a men's choir and let me tell you.

The Brit's have it all over us. There is nothing that can convey sorrow to me more eloquently than 50 select male voices, carried by the soprano tones of a 12 year old kid from Chelsea or Liverpool.

It shook me terribly to hear that plaintive cry from London. I don't remember what they sang, it was the fact that they sang it. For us. For 225 years of our freedom. For all the days that we have left of ourselves, and our children, and their children. I think maybe Britain has the idea of the continuity of life figured out better than we do. Because they can, and do, create 6 and 8 part harmony out of 50 voices to set the teeth, and cause the storm to subside for a little while.

Don't give up, in this cold winter ahead. There is grace here, there is a better part of ourselves. It will go on.

If I knew just how that might happen, I'd write about it here.

But I can't think of what to write, so I won't.

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