Friday, January 06, 2006

not an auspicious beginning

This morning I played mandolin on the bluegrass tune "Angel Band" for a funeral at the church. The service was for a parishioner who was 41 years old - he died New Years Eve day when he had a heart attack while biking a few blocks from his home. It turns out he was also a W&L guy, class of '86. I didn't know him or his wife or his two little girls, but as I listened to his friends eulogize him from the lectern, I started thinking about all those W&L guys I just spent New Years with. It was far too easy to picture any one of the six of us up there telling similar stories about the good times we had watching football, drinking beer, talking about girls, being in each others weddings.

So far 2006 has brought with it a tone of palpable darkness, at least in this first week: on top of this recent death and funeral, Richmond was stunned by the unspeakably horrific murder of an entire family in their Southside home on New Years Day. In broad daylight, no less. Generally speaking, I am eternally optimistic in spite of my occasional sarcasm. I still feel blessed to be clothed, fed, healthy, and safe. But this year seems to have been born under a bad sign - it isn't the kind of "new beginning" one generally associates with the New Year. But perhaps that's not such a bad thing, as it reminds us that every day can be the start of a new year. Regardless, I can only hope that it will get better soon.

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