This post is inspired by Jonathan Fields’ 9 Years Later, The Air Still Thickens. Probably the first time I’ve read a post and all the comments through to the end…
I think the commenter Pete has a good reminder point for all of us who are practicing sharing ourselves through writing and shouldn’t be called an asshole for saying so.
Where were you?
I was getting ready for my wage-slave gig, in my master bedroom, with Good Morning America blaring through the big blue tube. I couldn’t see the TV but what I was hearing got me to stop what I was doing and look to see if it was real. I sat down slowly on the edge of the bed and watched. I immediately thought about my best friend who told me she was headed to NY and freaked out. Calling her hysterically, leaving “where are you?” messages.
Everything about my American life changed that day.
The roads were different. The people in cars driving down the roads were different. I remember sitting in traffic and needing to change lanes signaling to do so and being let in immediately. I noticed how connected through empathy each of us were. For months. Strangers meeting each others gazes. I wondered how deeply they might have been affected. Who did they know? Had they lost a family member?
And just as Jonathan eluded too, I feel kind of bad saying that I miss how kind we all were to one another. Strangers on the freeway. Strangers in a strange consuming world, all seeing each other so differently that day. But nonetheless, seeing through our hearts… even if they were bleeding.
And I miss that. And I wish that it didn’t take a tragedy to help us be that way. But it’s just what happens in the busyness of our lives. In our myopic fishbowls, that seem so small in comparison to others, who help us wake up with their heroism, their calls to duty.
To this day, I have to turn away from the TV when they show the images. And I resented it, when I heard my daughter’s history teacher was making his students watch a movie about it. She was telling me how horrified she was, having to watch it over and over again in her class room.
The only thing that gives me peace, is leaning into my own understanding of death. And remembering my faith. Not a religious one really, but just that we are all eternal beings. That all of life is eternal.
And I think about everyone who was involved in this event who left us that day. Left earth. But still reside eternally in a heart, in a memory, and now in the flow of eternity.
My Fearless ‘Today’ Perspective
All of us die one day. I do not wish to be afraid of this. Instead, I want to be focused on what living really means to me. What an enormous privilege it is to get up every morning, to look in to the eyes of someone I love or even the eyes of a stranger and recognize and learn how to stop taking it for granted.
To remember, that this is the ultimate gift that was given to us. And not “camp out” in the horror of it, but to rejoice in our strength and capacity to care for one another deeply.
To rise up again, more unified and more willing to live fearlessly.
My skin prickles up just now. Because I’m remembering stories of passengers on the planes, calling loved ones. They knew what was about to happen. And in those terrifying moments, the called to say I love you to those they cared about most.
Fearless. Which doesn’t mean they were not experiencing the fear of death, but that in the face of death, all they could think about was who they love. And making sure we knew… they wanted us to know they loved us.
Would it be any different for you?
Let’s love each other like never before. Let this 9th anniversary and every anniversary of this event (and others like it) remind us to love each other fearlessly.
Love heals and transforms every situation.