Saturday, September 11, 2010

In The Land of Safe Septembers ~ I Remember 9/11

In honor of those who lost their lives that awful day
It is for them we keep the memory fresh on the page.

I recently unearthed a handwritten journal entry in my diary penned
September 10, 2001.
That year I was in the midst of a painful personal life-altering divorce and feeling philosophically Mimi-like. Little did I know that a few hours later, none of the problems I thought I had would even measure a speck of consideration for quite some time.
Fall 2001 was not a time to take leave of one's family.

Home. My corner of the world. Safe and secure - unharmed by violence. My garden. My books. My things. All reasons to take stock of what I was grateful for and why.

But my sense of safety was about to take a sharp left turn. There are images in my psyche that profoundly affect me even now. The earth-shattered and the buildings crumbled - so did my heart and my spirit. Septembers will never be the same.
Here are just a few of my vivid random memories of that day.

A phone call from my son. He was crying. "Mom, people are jumping from buildings," as he watched the unedited raw footage unfold before the shots were censored.

Something about the way he said my name that day made me want to forever scoop him up and protect him from such visions. I called or emailed everyone I knew who meant anything to me to make sure they knew I loved them.

Not such a bad idea today, September 11, 2010 either.

Sitting with my then-husband and openly sobbing as we
watched the evening news in silence. Suddenly, who gets to keep the SUV didn't matter.

Watching the second plane hit live in real-time broadcasts and the Towers fall. Every night for six weeks I had nightmares about flying planes.

Praying with a colleague at work and watching the early reports. I remember the feeling of helplessness. "There's nothing we can do," I said. " Somebody please help those people."

"All we can do is pray," he said.
And so we did.
Out loud and unashamed and unaware of denomination. To me, my friend became the-person-I-was-with-when-it-happened and to this day I still remember the power I felt in the room on that morning. Just as we finished, a co-worker across the hall walked in to see what was wrong. He heard us say "The Pentagon has just been hit."
"My son is in Washington," he said. "He's a runner at the Pentagon."
He left to make a phone call.
More praying in room 18.

Patriotism. Who cared what Party you belonged to. I often say "I became an American that day." My only regret is that up until that horrible morning I had little understanding of what that meant. Not really.
Silences. People wore unspoken pain like a garment.
No chattering at the post office. No small talk at the grocery store.
What kind of evil could silence a nation's soul?
I remember the sound of no music on the radio for days.

The sky. It was a picture perfect blue.

How my view has changed.
Today, I am more politically aware, unfortunately resolved to
disastrous uncertainties in the world around me and more than ever willing to
run headlong into a very precious span of time called my life.

My one-time comfortable corner of the universe has changed - peacefully so - and we have all happily moved on in our private lives, making new memories on new soil. September 11 didn't change my ultimate direction but it did alter the way I moved in it.

After September 11th
I heard stories of people mending fences. Offering forgiveness. Olive branches. We all witnessed ordinary people do extraordinary things. Those who seemingly had little to offer gave all they had anyway. Collectively.
We were caught in a time warp of kindness for awhile.
Did you notice that too?
When the anger came later, as it did for me - as well as a new found surge into patriotism like so many others of diverse and varying political opinion - it was fueled with a stark understanding of how precariously we walk.
I, for one, do not intend to sleepwalk.

As with any tragedy, as time passes, senses often dull and memories fade into fact and lore, so-sads and history books. My hope is that we not only continue to honor and remember, but that 911 has also propelled us into a new era of tolerance, understanding, and an urgent intensity for the cause of peace. Borne of unfortunate necessity and clouded by unspeakable violence, we were forced to hold a mirror to a clear September sky and look squarely into the face of an evil so perverse it stands mocking nine years later. Out of the ashes and fire, a certain universal passion dropped in our laps for the things in our lives that really matter.

Today is not a day for hatred. The only hope we have is to continue to speak that maybe one day we can go back to the land of safe Septembers.



Sherry Blue Sky said...

This is absolutely beautiful, Mimi! You are an inspiration. Keep speaking and writing for peace and we will too. I'll fly my Peace globe tomorrow and again on November 4th......Peace to all!

Akelamalu said...

Wonderful post Mimi. I pray Peace will reign. x

Charles Gramlich said...

great post. I pray too.

Patti said...

Beautifully written post, Mimi. I too pray for peace.

And yearn for the land of safe Septembers..

*jean* said...

i whole heartedly concur, dear mimi

Travis Cody said...

Well done, my dear. Peace to you, today and all days.

Red Shoes said...

I like the reference that you made about people becoming 'Americans' on that day.

I had hoped that 'connection' would last... not go away... and that our political parties could once again work together.

I still hope that, because at the most basic level, we are still Americans...

Thank you for this wonderful and touching post...


Mimi Lenox said...

Sherry - Peace is the word today. Without that hope we live in fear.

Akelamalu - I don't believe it's just a dream. We have to keep insisting on it.

Charles - Prayers and more prayers.

Patti - Septembers are so different now.

Jean - Peace to you and thank you for visiting.

Travis - And to you..

Red Shoes - I, too, had hoped that the enthusiasm would lead to more unity. That has not happened. More work to do.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Mimi, thank you for stopping by my site. I only just now caught and corrected the typo I made in the date, argh. I have been writing and praying for peace my whole life. Times of hope and times of sorrow, but we must just keep on keeping on. The transformation of consciousness is trying to occur, every bit of peaceful energy helps it make the shift. I am happy to have found and joined your wonderful movement here. Love seeing my simple little globe on your site. Yay! Blessings to you all today, for the peaceful prayerful hearts you all have.

Mimi Lenox said...

Sherry - Peace bloggers really are a remarkable group of people. So glad you joined us.

Julie said...

You always know what to say sweet Mimi. "the land of safe Septembers" Wow. **hugs**

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Super pictures that bring the horrors back. WEell written, Mimi

Tink said...

What a wonderful post. Wow.

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