Sheila Ernst Biafa

“Alabaster City,” video

The title is taken from a line in the song “America the Beautiful”: “Oh, beautiful, for patriots’ dreams that see beyond the years, Thy Alabaster Cities gleam undimmed by human tears …” Today’s war events are ever on our minds, whether it be the situation in Iraq, Israel, or Afghanistan. The live news streaming in from these areas, the endless analysis, the second guessing and images we see make for a constant beehive hum of activity. The haunting shadow of 9/11 hovers above all. The word War is so repetitive; it begins to lose its meaning. Only the images stand out starkly to haunt us. We’re eating, drinking, and inhaling it. We stand, poised, on the brimming edge of our Brave New World, straining to see a glimmer of our vision of freedom.