Friday, September 11, 2009

Repost: The sky was blue on September 12th, too...

Like so many other people this week, I found myself lost in thoughts of eight years ago, remembering. Indulge me as I take a detour from the tone of my normal postings, and reflect on where I was this week in 2001...

Do you remember how blue the sky was? All along the east coast, it was a stunningly clear day, bright and clean, and a welcome reprieve from the summer. A perfect fall day. Normal, everyday, happy. Until. Until the phone call from my husband that sent me to the television, and we saw the second plane hit.

You know the story from there. We all do. The phone lines were jammed; the news, stammered by reporters as stunned as we were, became an instant addiction. The world tilted for me as the pentagon was hit, then as the impossible happened--the towers fell. I was convinced then that more terrible things really could happen, and would keep happening. Anxiety, not a stranger to me on any day, was overwhelming that afternoon. The day was wrongly beautiful. The sky, eerily silent and empty of any planes, was sharp with blue and cloudless, yet the birds and crickets continued to sing, the sun continued blithely across the sky.
Lines from Auden's poem, Funeral Blues, kept popping into my mind:
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the woods;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

The sky was perfectly clear on September 12th, too. And I was, admittedly, at a safe remove. I was near Washington DC at the time, but not in it. But "safe" was something I wouldn't feel for a long time. The low drone of fighter jets crossing the sky all night woke me for weeks, and comfort eluded me for much longer.

2974 people died in those attacks that day, and our world did indeed tilt off its comfortable axis. Peace to their souls and their families...

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Paula said...

This day will forever be ingrained in my memory- what I was doing, how I felt. Thank you for sharing your experience in this post.

La Belette Rouge said...

No poem is more perfect than Auden's to commemorate the tragic day. It seems impossible that so much has time has passed and so much has returned to what can be classified as normal.I thought none of us would ever feel normal again and nothing would ever come to any good.

Judy said...

Thanks for sharing this memory of the tragic day we all remember. It does seem impossible that it has been this many years. I feel NYC will never be the same, but I can remember so well the many touching stories about the how people did pull together after that terrible day. I also wish peace to all the many families who had their lives changed forever.

Angie Muresan said...

That is a lovely tribute to the many loved ones lost that horrid day. But life goes on, and it is a beautiful testimony to the human spirit that we don't allow fear and hate to rule our lives, choosing instead to love and overcome that which we cannot imagine ourselves ever overcoming.

Cheryl said...

I was in Toronto at the time and my sister woke me up to tell me what was going on. And, like everyone else, I watched it nearly all day feeling things would never be the same again. Since we were the only Americans on the block, everyone kept coming up to us that day to tell us how sorry they were, which felt weird because we had no connection to anyone in NYC.

I visited NYC a few months later. I didn't intend to go down to the site - I could see the smoke still rising from blocks away - but I found myself drawn to it anyway on my way to sightseeing the Brooklyn bridge and Chinatown. The silence and reverence there as you got nearer the site was eerie. I also remember how kind everyone was there. (And still are, I hope.) I'd always heard how rude New Yorkers were but that wasn't my experience at all.

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