Thursday, September 11, 2008

the day arrives like a shipwreck


Yes, I remember. It was more than shock, and more than pain. It was horror.

To me a peculiar thing about it was that at no point on that day did I say “I don’t believe this is happening.” It was completely believable.

As much as it seems like yesterday it also seems it could have happened 100 years ago. Like the Civil War.

Okay, that’s closer to 150 years ago.

Why does that memorial take so long? Was it supposed to take this long? Like, let’s have a memorial ten years later when we’re a little less emotional?

Is it some kind of behind-the-scenes struggle about the depiction of death, or what it is to feel the menace of death?

We all felt it. Every time an airplane passed over. Too close. Too powerful.

I guess the Vietnam Memorial was a long time coming, too. And it’s flabbergasting – low-key and devastating. Go there if you haven’t. Cuts right through the bullshit.

Anything but a light show, a PR event.

Over the years, I've read many vignettes and stories about people who lost loved ones, and of course it’s sad. I'll never erase the pictures of people with their "Looking For:" notices. But what I feel more is anger. It’s terrible, I suppose, but even more I feel hate.

Which is unfortunate, because that was probably part of the point – getting everyone all hot-headed and vengeful.

Which worked.

I keep it in check. I'm able to be reasonable. I don't run for public office.

Sure I’m mad at our administration for not preventing it, but not that much. I’m also not mad at a relative of mine for getting raped. In broad daylight. In the company of friends.

Of course I am mad at the administration now. I would like to say "disappointed," but that would suggest having had expectations.

I hate to be cynical. But folks, the chance is coming.

I don't know what to say in the face of it all. That horror.

May it never come again.

thx to erin tyner for the photo.

6 comments:

Ralph weeping for the end of innocence. said...

You echo many of my sentiments here. There is a pall over the day that brings me more to anger at deceit than mourning at times, the two battling each other for attention in my mind's realm of justice and penalty.

Thanks for this.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Well stated. I appreciate the post, Sarah.

Tracey said...

Thoughtful and honest post... I think we all continue to wrestle with this type of incomprehensible tragedy and yet keep hope and human compassion alive to the best of our abilities.

-shanti

LKD said...

If you feel like playing, tag...

tag.

You're it.

LKD said...

I think what surprised me most about 9/11/08 is that no one, not a single person at work, not a single friend or family member commented on the fact that it was the anniversary. I woke up, turned on the tv and people were reading off the names of the dead and tolling the bell at the site where the towers once stood. I stood there for minutes, forgetting where I was or that I had to shower and go to work.

Not a single person all day long.

Not one.

I found that quite astonishing.

SarahJane said...

That is astonishing.
It came up at work a few times.
My daughter lamented having to take a test at school on such a day.
Even the day after I was talking about it with my hairdresser, who suspects Bush was in on it.
I hope they thought about it, if they didn't mention it.

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