Thursday, September 11, 2008

Life During Wartime

What was so immediate, so tremendous, is now, seven years later, just another thing I remember. What was momentous is now a just series of images. It's easy to recall them; it's harder to access all that I felt. How can I describe watching the first tower fall from my mid-town office? Or the way, for 20 minutes, we discussed with disbelief how odd it would look now, with only one tower, only to watch the second turn to dust? How can I describe the walk home, downtown, going against the flow of powder-coated refugees streaming toward the bridges, blank with shock? The emptiness of my neighborhood, the utter quiet that descended, the line of ambulances on First Avenue, the staging ground for triage that turned out to be unnecessary?

Can I describe my friend who perished there, her laugh, her solicitude, her youth? Can I ever communicate the feeling of my neighborhood stripped of traffic but for the fighter planes circling overhead? Even my cat knew things were off-kilter; he took, that week, to peeing in the sink.

The missing posters, the vigils, the slow sense that what could be found had been found and that everything that had fallen apart would someday be put back together. It slips away until it's something we commemorate annually and then pack away for the rest of the year, stored with our American flags, our sense of unity, our common feelings of loss mingled with pride and strength.

Today is the day we make ourselves remember what we promised, all those years ago, to never forget.


tunsie said...

A women was looking 4 her husband when she noticed a belt she had bought 4 her husband as a gift.the belt was tied arund a women in a wheel chair.when she asked the elderly women how she was tied in the wheel chair in that belt.the women told her that the elevator stopped working and a man took his belt off and tied it around her and carried the wheel chair down the steps,when he carried her 2 safety he ran back in 2 save his friends.he never came is 2 short people stop complaining over stupid shit.......tunsie.tunsie.tunsie

beths said...

Life is too short. Too many people are living with war in their countries (counties, cities, towns, villages, farms, forests) every day now. They don't even have the luxury of memory and reflection.