I spent one of the last weekends of summer out on Long Island.
People sailing on the bay. Families enjoying the beach. Children
swimming in the ocean. Parents trying to catch up on their reading.
I went to the US Open to see Federer take apart his opponents. To
watch the Williams sisters bring their particular brand of courage to
the court once again. To see Henin hunker down and prevail.
I went to Radio City to hear Tony Bennett sing at a benefit for
his arts education charity. Bennett, who brings more talent and musical
history to a single performance than any ten artists, sang as
beautifully as ever. But to see him at that great venue was a special
evening. To be Tony Benett, the real Tony Bennett, for just one night.
That would be something.
On Sunday, I attend the Emmys and hope my show fares well there
and that we have a good season on NBC.
I live in New York and as 9/11 commemorations approach, I can't
help but think that this city, this country of ours, this is paradise.
Here. Now. Not some promise of where we may go in some Christian or
Muslim depiction of an afterlife. All that one could hope for, that one
could pray to God for, all that one could dream of having, without
having to lie or steal or hurt another person in order to gain it, all
of that is here on this Earth now.
Who is running for president that can remind us of that? Who,
among all of these people, can promise to help us get our faith back?
Who can promise us that they will lead us out of these horribly cynical
times? Who can help us redefine our place in a world of ever shifting
political realities? Who can gives us the courage to make the
sacrifices we will certainly have to make in order to accommodate
nature's new rules? Who can help us to overcome the awful shame we have
endured during the past seven years?
My friend told me about a T-shirt she saw. "It's not the end of
the world but I can see it from here." Perhaps the Earth possesses a
self-purging mechanism. Perhaps we are destined to be purged, as the
Earth seeks to balance its systems. In the meantime, I hold that this
is paradise. Beautiful to the point of perfection. Well worth fighting
for. That fight is on now and its first major battle is 14 months away.