In which our author rambles her way into having a social conscience
My hands are trembling today and won't stop. I don't know if this is a result of too little sleep and too much caffeine-- it's my little brother's first day of school, so we all walked to the bus stop together in a jolly bunch at 7 am. Obviously, this necessitated a double espresso, made at one of the best bars in Milan, and I don't think my feeble system could take this rapid reintroduction to the world of caffeine, post a summer of my avoiding all things caffeinated, in a saintly manner (yes, I did drink tea in Russia, but it was mostly green. Russians are on a health kick now.)
Having dropped young goodman Charles off at the bus stop, where he refused to let us kiss him goodbye in case he looked babyish in front of his buddies, my mother and I went off to Sant' Ambrogio, to see the church itself and hear morning mass. The church itself is beautiful, and one of the oldest in Italy. The walls are covered with strange mystical symbols, and it contains the full skeletons of three saints, Ambrogio, Sigismondo and another one whose name I can't recall. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. Much as I have issues with Catholicism (try growing up only vaguely religious in a small provincial town in Italy... not the most fun of experiences.) I find Catholic (and Russian Orthodox) churches to be the most beautiful I have seen. Gorgeous. Feeling melancholy, I lit a candle for the people affected by Hurricane Katrina-- and promptly burst into tears. I'm not a crier, ever, but something about this tragedy has just affected me in ways I've never thought possible. I've always been rather blasé about the news, with even the biggest disasters provoking only a minor "oh... that sucks, I guess" reaction, but this is horrible. I'm outraged at what the people affected have to go through, and I feel so helpless. I've donated money, of course, but I wish I could go down there and actually do something tangible with my hands to help. I can't even begin to express my horror at what happened. As I've said, this made me pray for the first time in God only knows how many years-- not an actual church-based praying, but just a fervent hope and plea that the suffering would end soon and things would get better.
Ah... incoherent with confusion, rage and a weird sort of despair.