It’s funny how on a day like today when the sun is shining with such brilliance that the jonquils pop out, perky as children, gleaming with a creamy smoothness, grouped together like old friends, that something – the way a cloud passes momentarily over the sun, a lonely dog barking softly, someone two doors down listening to O mio bambino caro – fills you with such sadness that you could stand in the sunlit garden that seems a place where only happiness could live, and weep.
It’s a day for remembering – the horror, the tragedy, the sorrow. The day everyone now refers to as 9/11. Nothing more. A brief, almost dismissive appellation that means so much.
I was watching a documentary last night on 9/11. It covered the brave work of the emergency response units and the even braver number of people trapped in the buildings who showed their mettle as leaders, making lightning decisions, saving lives, sometimes at the loss of their own. These are the people who should be remembered along with those who fell, these are the people who have made it possible to view the day with sorrow but also with hope.
Line of thought form, like loose streamers blowing in the breeze. I think of the atrocities in Georgia, Darfur, Myanmar and I wonder will our descendants living in a more enlightened age two hundred years from now bow their heads and say :’ They just didn’t get it, did they?’
And I also wonder that if our world leaders went to war as they did in the Middle Ages, would we have to endure as much atrocity as we do now. George W Bush riding out like Richard the Lionheart? I don’t think so.
In further lines of connectedness I realise I know a man who lost a relative as a result of the attack on the World Trade Center. A man sitting in his office, talking on the phone who was incinerated when the first plane hit. How do the people left behind make sense of that?
I met a taxi driver yesterday from Iraq who has lost ten family members in two years. I met an African refugee at the medical centre who knew she would probably never see her family again, that, in fact, they all might have been shot just for being who they are.
Lineations burst outward, buoyant, crossing the land and the sea and the sky. We all know someone affected by war or terrorism or atrocity. We all know someone whose thoughts sit sluggish in their heads as a result of fear for the future or the grief of the past. May all those people, on the day where we remember the fallen and the ones left behind, at some point in their lives find peace.