The New Haven trip was so packed with events that I'm still processing it, but as I think about "green side up" from my previous post, United Church on the Green (where Noah's recital took place) comes to mind.
As we walked from the Yale campus through the green, we passed two rallies on either side of the church: one pro-Tibet and one pro-China. The pro-China group, a goodly number, gathered closer to the church. During the third piece on the program, in the quiet, hymn-like second movement, drums and music and chanting rose up from the rally. Of course
this happened during the most delicate part of the recital! But N carried on, somehow able to ignore the outside world.
Life in New Haven seems noisy at all hours, bustling with activity we don't see in Iowa. One moment we were at the coffee counter in a great bookstore while two men to our right discussed The New York Times Book Review
; behind me a woman carried on about the shortcomings of a foreign film. Street vendors sold flowers and hot dogs. A young man was being handcuffed on the corner.
We enjoyed a tour of the divinity school and I noted how well the buildings are kept up -- they're attractive and light-filled and the ceilings aren't leaking. Clearly, there's enough money, and the facility receives the care it requires. At the Yale bookstore I found J all but drooling over an entire wall of the Loeb Classical Library volumes, with Greek on the left and English on the right-hand pages. We bought volumes I and II of The Apostolic Fathers and the first volume of Basil's letters. We don't find a collection like this just anywhere.
And yet...for all that was stimulating and exciting at Yale, there's something missing. The open friendliness and simplicity of the Midwest didn't travel East with us. While I'm eager to go back to New Haven this summer, I'm glad to be home in the quiet with my sleeping dog.