Thursday, April 1, 2010

These words are an injustice.

I cannot even begin to describe the experience that was had in Selma, Alabama yesterday. I tried. I have been trying and I will continue to try because I never want to forget it, but the truth is that it is near impossible. If you've read the posts of other students, not only will you know what we did but you'll see that everybody agrees on the fact that it was by far the best day of the trip. Joanne Bland's story, as she told it, was very powerful, and yet her consistent sense of humor returned us to a light mood with such ease that I never quite knew how it happened. Whether it was by teasing the busdriver, or yelling at us for "not acting like adults," somehow, we returned to the present without our hearts remaining too heavy with the ghosts of the past.
Service work was wonderful. It felt so good to get out and do some manual labor, and knowing that we were giving back to the community put a perma-grin on my face. I have never had more fun picking up garbage, or throwing trees over my head while I multi-tasked and talked to my bored and gimpy mother. Seeing the painters complete the church filled me with such joy, and seeing the happiness and pride of those that we helped filled me with even more joy. It made it all worth it.
The dinner was exquisite, Lynda Lowery singing the freedom songs was amazing, and the whole day was absolutely and completely perfect.
These words, however, are an injustice. They don't describe the true emotion and passion that I, and likely many others, felt yesterday. They try. They will continue to try but the truth is that it is near impossible. Yesterday was perfect. But just reading the written word? That will never fulfill the true beauty of it in the same way that the experience itself did.

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