Dick Shares a Poem in Remembrance of 9/11

Dick Bradford, Head of the Upper School and Academic Dean, sent out an email to students and faculty this morning that he wanted to share with the greater community.

Dear Athenians,

Since we do not have a morning meeting today, I wanted to send out a brief note reminding us of the significance of this day in history.  Here is a link to a National Geographic site covering the different aspects of September 11, 2001.

I have always remembered the day by reading a poem that I read to the Upper School on the afternoon of this day 11 years ago.  I am not sure why I picked this poem all those years ago – it speaks to me a recognizing a common humanity and connection to the possibilities of the world, at a time when we were all feeling vulnerable and dispirited.  I include it here for your consideration:

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~ Mary Oliver ~

Sincerely,
Dick