There have been, in the last weeks, so many things to do: speeches to write, visuals to prepare, plane trips that require me to be patted down and my bags unpacked and gone through by hand because my books and my computer cord in my carry-on are so close together in the x-ray screening that the entire line was nearly shut down to deal with the threat that is me. But now I am on my way to Los Angeles – five airborne hours – with nothing but the present moment. I can read the book I brought – Amy Waldman’s The Submission – for nothing but pleasure. I can daydream. I have been preoccupied with what to say to an audience I cannot yet see and whom I have not met. But to decide so far in advance what I should offer them and what they need to hear is to constrain the future. To predetermine it and make it less than it might otherwise be. I am not an historian, or an expert, or even an advocate. I am an artist, and a witness, and so I have decided to lecture less and engage more. To be in the moment when it comes. Wish me luck.
This weekend, to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I will be speaking and reading from Hiroshima in the Morning at the Japanese American National Museum. The program starts at 2 pm. The museum, if you have never been there, is beautiful and features the names of former internees of the WWII relocation centers – including my mother’s, grandparents’ and great uncles’ – etched in the glass.
Come join me, and please pass the word along! Reservations are apparently encouraged, but that doesn’t mean it is too late!
JAPANESE AMERICAN NATIONAL MUSEUM
369 East First Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
When making a reservation, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 213.625.0414 at least 48 hours prior to the event.