10 years on

Coney Island - 091111

I could reflect on September 11th, 2001 and share what I did that day, what I felt, experienced and lived through.  My memories are old though and can't be trusted to be true.  To be honest, what I did that day, what I felt, experienced and lived through doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.  We all lived through it and have our own stories which probably only have meaning to us.

I could write on how my world changed with two wars, increased security (and fear and paranoia), and the broken political system we live in, but you already know it, just listen to the shouting heads on tv.  We lost the united resolute ethos within a few years so that much is over.  Besides, Bin Laden is dead.

I could commend the bravery of the firefighters, police officers, and soldiers who gave their all on that day and in the wars since, but we already know of their heroism.  They should be honored and anything I say would add nothing to the mountains of sentiment going toward them.

A few years ago I heard a presentation from an eighty-something year old woman. Every year she swims a race from Alcatraz to San Francisco. The race is over a mile long in cool waters with a current pulling the swimmers out into the Pacific. She told us that during the race she flips over and backstrokes to rest and use other muscles. During that time she looks back at where she came from, Alcatraz. She has learned though if she becomes to fixated on it, the current will pull her off course, so she has to continually look around and forward again to keep her bearing. Before she ended her talk she gave me some of the best advice about living.

"It is OK to look back at the past, just don't stare."
On this anniversary, I choose to remain quiet, live my life, try to create something, do yard work, and move on trying to ease the pains in my body, heart, soul, and mind that are distant and recent.  Maybe that is the lesson of all of this for me.  Never forget, but keep moving on. 


Empire State (Building) of Mind

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I never got to see the twin towers before they came down.  I wonder if I would have been overwhelmed looking up at them.   They seemed so skinny and slight.  Since seeing the Empire State Building from a distance for the first time in 2009 and finally getting to touch it in 2010, I've grown attached to it.

It is a beautiful building.  It is tall, solid, and towers over that part of Manhattan.  It makes me feel small, inconsequential, and forgotten, but protected.  It stands guard over everyone, not recognizing the individual, but the looking over the mass of humanity that built it.
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Last year a few of us on the group trip had dinner in it before taking the multiple elevators up to the observation deck on a warm summer night.  I was scared to death to be up there, but soon the companionship of my friends and all the other viewers calmed.

I've been through a lot of emotionally powerful moments since that June night in 2010.  They included my heart, my art, my life, my health, my path, and my future.  That building continues to stand and doesn't know I am connected to it, but I know I am connected to it.

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I can't explain this connection to that building, it touches many areas, but I know when I see it I feel all the glory, goodness, pain, illness, love, creativity, angst, joy that I've swam through since then.   While I lived my life, that building stood silently watching over the city.

I had to touch the building when I visited New York last month.  I felt the buzzing energy in it and all of the year  since rushed through me and I jerked my hand away.  I looked up at it and knew I couldn't go to the top of it again that day.   I was afraid what would happen to me if I did.  Instead I looked at it from my hotel window that night, sighed, and closed my eyes.   I love that building.

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