Tuesday, September 13, 2011

on 9/11, and living today

Morning, by Maxfield Parrish

On this 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, much of the media is covering and paying tribute to the horrific events of that fateful day. My husband has been watching these programs over the past couple of days, and I've been hearing the painful accounts of people who were right there on the scene, or who had lost someone that day.

I don't have the eloquence to write sufficiently on how sad I am for all the people who were affected, devastated, in some way, by what happened. I can imagine how ten years just pass for many of these people and the hurt and heartache are still as strong as ever. Many of us have our own thoughts and feelings about what happened, what it all means, but most of us share the grief.

The latest issue of
Real Simple has a feature entitled I Will Remember You; in it, ten people pay tribute to the loved ones they lost, and the ways in which they celebrate their lives.

One lady lost her son in the collapse of Tower Two. She tells of how his mantra had been, "Do what you love, love what you do", and how it has become her mantra too. And she tells of how she sees his spirit everywhere: "Recently I saw a black butterfly with yellow markings that looked like a smile -- as always, I thought of him" (
p.206). My heart aches for her and the many, many others who have suffered, or are still suffering, such pain and sorrow -- in the 9/11 attack, yes, but also around the world, every day.

The New York Times published a commentary written by Robert De Niro, entitled
From downtown NY to Doha: How a film festival helped revive NYC and its international spirit. On 9/11, Mr De Niro was about to fly to Los Angeles when his son called to say that a plane had hit the World Trade Centre. He immediately returned to his apartment, from which he could see the towers nine blocks away.

It's a very articulate, well-written piece; one line that I found especially powerful was: "I didn't lose a relative or close friend when the towers fell, but after the attacks, whatever I had done, whatever I was striving for, had no meaning: it all just stopped".

Or, as my husband said while watching TV, "I'm watching this because it puts things in perspective. Every day could be one's last. All those people, they were just going to work like they did every day".

I think of my post
Rejoice Today, where I quoted Dr Osler: "Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day absorb all your interest, energy and enthusiasm. The best preparation for tomorrow is to live today superbly well".

Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream," wrote Robert J. Hastings in his poem, The Station. "Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

"Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as
we go along. The station will come soon enough".

The Lord bless you and watch, guard, and keep you, dear reader.

The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten you and be gracious (kind, merciful, and giving favor) to you;

The Lord lift up His [approving] countenance upon you and give you peace (tranquility of heart and life continually) (Num 6:24-26).

1 comment:

Abigail Jasmine said...

God is good. Beautiful words here...



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