by pieces of moments


I realize I am jumping ahead a bit. It is only Thursday, February 12. We have not yet reached Friday the 13th or the equally infamous Saturday the 14th. However, as I have a very busy long weekend full of good things I thought I would trespass upon the proper passage of time and acknowledge the holiday to come.

This year I have a little bit of a different perspective – a larger, better, and less influenced by consumerism perspective. I suppose you can say this is the result of the economy, the cutting of various arts programs in schools, less funding for music and arts organizations everywhere, and a plethora of other dark matter that is threatening to suck the life right out from under us. It seems a bit silly or small to be concerned with diminutive dusty candy hearts. Really, though, it arises more from the events of this past week. Last Friday our friend and college classmate, Philip Rizk, was abducted by the Egyptian secret police after taking part in a peaceful march to raise awareness of the situation in Gaza. He was whisked away in the night, interrogated for days, blindfolded, subjected to this treatment all without a single formal charge ever leveraged against him. You can read more in the New York Times article by clicking here. In short, the end of this particular chapter of the story had a happy ending as Phil was released yesterday just in time for his birthday today. It was touching to see how many thousands of people joined the Facebook group in support of Phil’s release. It was amazing to see people take time out of their days to assemble in peaceful rallies all across the globe at Egyptian embassies. And now, in the aftermath, it is amazing to see how this terrible event has drawn much needed attention to the people of Gaza, and in turn, every group of people who experience tremendous oppression and difficulty while trying to just go about loving and living from day to day.

So, this Valentine’s Day I’m thinking less about being disgusted by cheesy pink and red candies, cards, flowers, and other accoutrements of affluent affection and more about love: love for family, friends, those in need, and love for all the blessings that I all too often forget in the midst of all this economic roulette and its repercussions.