Saturday, September 10, 2011

Standing Stones

People at the American History museum, waiting to see the 9/11 exhibit.

There are moments and then there are - you know, Moments. I'm talking about the moments after which everything changes, personally - sometimes, culturally. Those moments are monumental, like standing stones. They are markers in time. Everyone remembers where they were when it happened. Everyone wants to share a story. Everyone should share a story!

It's interesting to remember how much like standing stones the World Trade Center Twin Towers were. Yeah.

Ten years ago tomorrow, the skyline of "When Harry Met Sally" and a million other films, disappeared forever. Everything changed, just like that. Snap.

I went today to the 9/11 exhibit at the National Museum of American History. Walked down Capitol Hill this beautiful morning, arrived at the museum miraculously at 10:02, but there was already a line. We waited till almost eleven before we were allowed in to the exhibition.

It was plain, like a tiny high school science fair. None of the objects were in cases, nor was there slick, beautifully designed signage explaining everything.

Instead there were human beings, explaining why they had chosen the objects from NYC, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. There was a fourth table but I didn't have the stomach to visit it. The energy was strong enough that I didn't even get close to the tables. It was powerful.

Interesting is that I was not particularly emotionally moved by the exhibit, nor am I by this anniversary, as far as I can tell. But the thing is, when I left the museum, all of sudden I felt weak and achey, as if I'd been brutally beaten. Seriously! It was a visceral experience. Holy cow.

Fortunately I had clients scheduled this afternoon. After work I felt much better. I know this ten year anniversary is a big deal. I know it intellectually, I feel it in my body, but my heart? I'm not connecting with the inevitable emotions that come up at times like this, I am staggering around, searching for Stonehenge. I know the marker is there for me, too, but I can't seem to connect with it. It's so interesting! Maybe I will feel it tomorrow. Are you feeling it?

Holding in my heart all the people who lost loved ones that day. May the anniversary be a turning of the wheel, may it help them let go. May it be so.

Salaam, Shalom, Peace.


Kerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kerry said...

These events are like standing stones, rising up and looming over us always. It is really hard to put into words what 9-11 signifies personally. When 9-11 happened I began to read the poet-pacifist William Stafford, author of "Every War has Two Losers." The day before he died, he wrote a poem that began:

"You can't tell when strange things with meaning will happen..."

That poem was printed on the front page of the newspaper on 9-12, and I'll never forget it.

Pam said...

Tried several times to comment but hard to find the right words.
It always will be the case for me where the innocent are caught up in violent and aggressive agendas everywhere. Dear ones world-wide who can never bring a loved one back.The grief that must be involved with the sudden shock of that, leaves me speechless with a very profound sadness.
In particular,I pay special tribute to your 9/11 event at this time.
My reactions are always one of grief as I read how families are continuing on without their loved ones, learning a little more about each life as I read individual family histories, many from Australia.
Our firefighters have always had special ties with their American counterparts. It is a big day of remembrance and tribute here for them too.
My emotional reaction? Wobbly, and the tears get more swimming over the years - find it hard to read the tributes. So many will be forever young.

Pam said...

..meant to say "from" them too regarding our firemen and women.
As well as events of uniformed ceremony, flags at firestations nationwide are flown today at half-mast.

Steve Reed said...

I suspect the emotions are there, and they're just not surfacing. The fact that you felt weak and fatigued after the exhibit shows that -- maybe you're fighting them off, pushing them down? It was such a huge day for all of us, and no one wants to feel again what we felt that day. I can certainly understand why you might subconsciously turn from that, even while you consciously commemorate the day by going to the exhibit. Just an idea.