Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Search of...what endures: a 9/11 blog

Much has been written about 9/11. Much has been said. Much has been invoked in the name of it. And none of us who were alive then will ever forget where we were, how we felt, and what we did that day and the heartbreakingly uncertain days that followed immediately thereafter. These things are indelibly etched in our hearts, minds, and psyche as a nation.

As the names of those lost are painstakingly read aloud, I have wondered in years past if we've done justice as a nation to the essence of their souls. These were people who did not volunteer to serve our country the way the military does - with the forewarning that they might never come home again. These were ordinary people leading ordinary lives, who were called in an instant to be martyrs for that way of life which is uniquely American. The first responders that saw danger and rushed towards it at their peril, these are the heroes we remember, too, on this day.

As the enormity of this loss weighs upon us, even still ten years later, I got to thinking about what words, and songs, and people were chosen to represent the solemnity of this anniversary and comfort us in some way. It was the hauntingly moving version of "Amazing Grace" played on the flute, the words of our own poet laureate, and songs that take on a startlingly poignant meaning sung some forty plus years later by James Taylor and Paul Simon. Seeing these two men, dressed in suits and ties, with what was is left of their hair completely gray now, was a stark contrast to the images I hold in my head of the long-haired artists who held in their hearts a vision for a world much different than this one turned out to be.

Listening to the words of "The Sound of Silence" now, at ground zero, on this day by Paul Simon, so visibly moved, it was as though it was written for a future he could not yet know when he wrote it. And maybe it was, because the words "Hello darkness, my old friend..." seem to have profound meaning now and express a weighty magnitude in their simplicity that we could not have fully understood at any point earlier in time.

As we think about what endures when the future isn't promised to us, the one thing reiterated over and over again as the names are being read aloud, is "I love you." Even as the times have changed, what is meaningful in the end is the love felt, the times shared, the memories held in that place in our hearts that belongs to eternity.

And so on this solemn day, I hope we all use this opportunity to pray for the souls who have left us, to appreciate what we have in this very moment, and to recognize the abiding goodness that manifests even in the darkest of moments.

Peace, comfort, and blessing to you all today. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing a few moments with me.

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