Wednesday, August 6, 2008


I just finished reading Ann Patchett’s book Bel Canto, about birthday party guests who get taken hostage by terrorists. Lately it seems like every book I read relates to my Peace Corps service, but this one did especially.

Even though we are, after all, volunteers, I think every one of us goes through bouts of feeling held hostage, of serving out a sentence, of “us” versus “them.” Opera plays a big role in the book, and while I am not an opera fan, I agree that music grounds us in time and place. When I am listening to or making music, I am here and now. Like when I ride past the church and hear the drifting harmony.

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