In the blinking of an eye
soon everything will change.
From a blue September sky
the brimstone falls like rain.
If true loves soars the heavens,
pretend and we can fly.
Soon everything will change, my love,
In the blinking of an eye.
-Neil Thomas, September 2001
I have a tremendous amount of work to do today but it must wait while I start to record my foggy early morning thoughts about what happened yesterday in Boston. My mum and I were just discussing, on our return from the airport, our mutual lack of desire to visit the Freedom Tower and 9-11 memorial. Our reasons are different, but for me, it’s just too soon. My memories of that morning – of that entire day – are as vivid as any I can think of. I was just discussing with someone (hi, you) the tendency for people to want to “own” such tragedies – to convince others that their accounts and their feelings are the most potent. I decided long ago (relatively speaking) to not try to out-9-11 others when discussing what happened that day, because everyone’s personal record is valid and everyone’s pain, regardless of which came first, the coverage or the emotion, is real.
That said, I miss you, my sweet friend, and I know you’re around because I feel you around and I feel you right now in a way that I haven’t for years. And I love you. And I’m sorry that this happened to you. And I’m better for having known you.
And I’m so sad for the people who had to bear witness to yesterday in three dimensions; coverage is difficult enough and I’ve only read; I’ve yet to turn on the television. This is going to take a long, long time to process and who knows what will happen in the interim?
Most of us don’t yet know who is responsible or how this happened or what it means or how many will ultimately suffer or when something like this might again occur. Most of us won’t die in a terror attack or lose a loved one to violence. But we’re all vulnerable, so let’s go a little easier on one another and let go of anger and vengeance and make like the Beatles and love, love, love. Perhaps it is all we need.