"Beauty confronts us with the requirement that we place ourselves among...the redeemers, the leaders in the protection of life. Once you have seen the bush on fire, you are not going to get out of the assignment unless you close your eyes to the beauty.... [You] either have to close your eyes or go back to Egypt and set the people free." - Rev. Dr. Rebecca Parker, "Rising to the Challenge of Our Times"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Damn the torpedoes!

This phrase came to mind and I did a little checking to find out its origin as my knowledge of the history of warfare is somewhat incomplete. (Speaking of knowledge, thank heavens all I had to do was take the California Bar Exam and not the new test for U.S. citizenship. What kind of messed up questions are those anyway? "What is the rule of law?" "What is self-government?" Huh? These are the kind of questions that require an answer that is either a precise one-liner from page 128 of your high school civics text book, or a dissertation examining the Federalist Papers and 200 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence. Or maybe I've got it all wrong, the Bush Administration is just asking prospective citizens these questions in sincere hope of actually finding out what the answers are.)

ANYWAY, Damn the torpedoes--Full speed ahead is attributed to (then) rear admiral David Glasgow Farragut in the Battle of Mobile Bay. In the Civil War era, what we would call mines were called torpedoes. After the U.S.S. Tecumseh was destroyed by a mine, Farragut decided to charge through the minefield anyway to Union victory. We've been watching the Ken Burns "Civil War" series, but we're not quite that far along. Stonewall Jackson just died and Pres. Lincoln is (still) trying to find competent leadership for the Union army. Now there was a man with a hard job.

I thought of Damn the Torpedoes! because I was feeling low yesterday with this head cold and the marathon on Sunday, and a trial on Monday while we're at it, feeling like I had no energy or motivation, and totally annoyed with myself because it's just a stupid cold, why not suck it up like (almost) everybody else does and pretend I don't have it and go about sharing my germs with the world? I really just wanted to stay in bed. I had to go to work for part of the day and felt very whiny the whole time, and annoyed, and like my head was not attached to my body but not in a good floaty-detached-head way. One of my friends in Sacramento emailed about our plans for the eve of the marathon and I emailed back with some of my whining. Then she emailed and said "You have 4 days to kick it!" and I thought, hey, she's right. From then on my spirits have been better even if my head is stuffy. I'm sure it'll clear out after a few miles anyway. DAMN THE TORPEDOES! RAAAAHHHHHH!!!! Thanks for the pep talk, H. See you at 5.5.

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