17 September 2001
A week ago tomorrow and it seems impossible that only seven days has passed. Among ourselves--our co-workers, our friends, the strangers we encounter--we share stories.We are compelled to talk about last Tuesday, as if we were there ourselves. We talk about all aspects of the disastrous day, but mostly we come back to the two towers.
What would it have felt like to be in those buildings when the planes hit? Two objects, airplanes and skyscrapers, suddenly, wrenchingly, occupying the same space? We try to imagine it, putting ourselves on the 105th floor, or the 34th floor, or, down on the street looking up and seeing the second plane banking and coming dead-on toward the one untouched tower.
We share what we hear on the radio, or see on TV, or in some cases, we share the eyewitness accounts that come to us through a relative or a friend or a friend's friend.The stories and images connect us in a new way--as witnesses.
Someone tells about the man who was on the 80th floor of one of the towers when it began to collapse. "He rode it down 80 floors, like he was riding a wave. And he survived." This is one of the good stories. The surfer riding the building down to life. Impossible as the feat sounds, we believe it.
We hold hands at a candlelight vigil and sing "Amazing Grace," hoping that grace will catch us as it caught the surfer and bring us home.
12 September 2001
"In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop
upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes
wisdom through the awful grace of God."
From Aeschylus, as quoted on April 4, 1968 by Robert Kennedy in a statement in Indianapolis, Indiana on the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
May we gain wisdom and grace as the days unfold after the tragedies of September 11, 2001.