Hello, gentle readers,
A few days ago I posted a poem, Falling, here on the blog. It was inspired by the upcoming anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attack on New York City.
I am not particularly comfortable writing about such things. I get uneasy. I squirm. My stomach fills with butterflies.
Because it feels like I'm somehow taking advantage of the pain of other people. I feel like a scavenger, picking at the bones. Like I'm tearing the scab off a wound that hasn't healed, just to see if it will still bleed a little.
Another reason for my unease is the tone of my poem. Falling on one level is about moving on, grieving and letting go, but on another level I think it's very obviously about 'compassion fatigue.' It is not a particularly sympathetic work.
On that day, twelve years ago, I woke to my clock radio. However, instead of the usual musical program, I was roused by two men talking about 'the disaster in New York.' I climbed out of bed, went into my living room and turned on my television.
CNN and every other network was showing the same images over and over again: the planes smashing into the World Trade Center towers.
I can remember feeling physical shock at the sight and then horror when they started playing it again. Whenever I think of the events of that day, I think of that image. The plane smashing into the building, the towers collapsing in fire and ash.
The events of September 11th changed our entire society, here in the United States. It changed how we viewed ourselves, how we viewed others, how we interacted with the entire world.
We haven't recovered from it.
Today, on the anniversary of that awful day, the country echoes with cries of, "Never forget!" Unspoken is the sentiment, "Never forgive!"
Some would say that those feelings are understandable; that they are justified; that they make us human.
I would argue that those feelings were understandable and justified at the time of the attacks. Today, they do not make us human; they reduce us, make us less than human.
The towers have been falling in our heads and hearts for over a decade. They never stop falling, they never reach the ground.
Isn't it about time that they did? Isn't it time for them to stop falling?