Mostly, though, I look forward to the moment when I’m less Cassandra, more Anne. It helped to watch a movie. It helps to read. I’m grateful that WQXR, our local classical radio station, is doing another Beethoven awareness month. Beethoven and Bach are about it right now and they do help.
Our church still doesn’t have power, one week out, as is the case for a local Episcopal church, so the Methodists took us in. Morrow Church on Ridgewood Avenue in Maplewood was packed to the gills and it was a touching sight to see. But when it came time to sing, I could feel the weight of the long week of worry—how would I ever get to work again? was I doing enough for my friends and neighbors? when would my friends get their power and heat? when will school open for my children? my students? were the children safe?—collapse upon me.
The hymn was “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” and I was so moved by the first verse (which we sang three times), that I could barely sing the words. My new favorite hymn:
Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand,
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on, to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.
In a church filled with members of three congregations, battered by a storm, with many many people living with no power or heat, those words mattered: the affective fallacy is in full swing, even for those of us only touched by the storm. The storm, and the fatigue it’s brought, is no mere metaphor to us. The desire for someone else—call it God or PSE&G or Occupy or friendship—to lead us into the light is intense.