Monday, March 18, 2013
THE L.A. MARATHON
The L.A. Marathon, which goes straight through my neighborhood and makes driving impossible, took place yesterday. I'd been out of town, saw the signs Saturday and, as usual, thought bitterly, Thanks for trapping me in my home all day. Then I walked to Mass down Sunset. Boulevard and within minutes was weeping at the sheer beautiful humanity of it all: a guy in a kilt playing bagpipes, punksters, infants, old people such as myself....Mother-and-daughter teams set up shop on the sidewalk with sunscreen, Snapple and snacks. Platoons of volunteers manned huge tables stacked with paper cups of water. DJs blasted, depending on the block, 70s rock, house music, and Bonnie Raitt. People looked each other full in the face and smiled. The drunks who'd been up all night emerged from the clubs bleary-eyed: crashing into each other, sucking on cigarettes, their fists raised aloft in shaky cheers.
Everyone wants to be part of something greater than themselves. Everyone appreciates nerve. Everyone recognizes heart.
It's a long, hard lesson to learn that you just can't go around screaming in people's faces that abortion, or euthanasia, or war is wrong. You have to show them a human face. Again and again, we need to be brought back to the glory of a single human being.