September 11 - not just a date anymore, like December 7 (day of infamy) and July 7 (the day Kerry died) They are watershed dates, individually or culturally, the days before turns into after. I think the book Falling Man catches that separation of Before and After very well. It happens with other things - like a diagnosis of a terminal or serious illness too. Laurie Siefers catches it in the NPRMyCancer blog - two befores and afters - Leroy's diagnosis, and his death. I wonder how many turning point events are left in my life - how many fresh starts I have left in me - both in my personal life and as a citizen of the world.
I realize that I could be having political thoughts around September 11, but I just don't - grieving thoughts only. And thoughts toward actions I can take to help people lean not to hate, not to separate around divides of religion, nation, race, class - all the things we use to make people "the other" - "the enemy"
My September 11 seven years later has passed and Hurricane Ike is roaring toward the Texas coast, but mostly life goes on as usual. I'm surprised by how little comment people give this date - seem to be going through a period of silent mourning and commemoration, maybe trying to make sense of the change in the world internally. Several people I know and respect have said they have no words about the events of this date seven years ago. I still have words, need words need to focus and to grieve. I have been looking at pictures of myself at a Fire fighter shrine (outside firehouse near the towers) and at the beautiful large framed photograph K.K. and I bought from a local New Yorker which depicts the towers vibrant at sunset.On a friend's blog I saw pictures of the towers just being themselves on an ordinary day - and most movingly, a picture of friends joyfully dining at Windows on the World. That one made me weep. I wanted to eat there - a romantic fantasy never possible now.
I think the silence around this day for so many people catches my attention as another evidence of how individually people grieve.