Seven Years

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

cross posted from The Dream Antilles

This morning in Columbia County, New York the sky was blue.  I took the faithful retriever dog for a walk in the fields.  The golden rod is in bloom, and there are wild asters.  American milkweed is in its cotton phase.  It was September 11.

When I walk I am aware of my breathing.  I am aware of my feelings.  I am aware of my thoughts.  Today I felt sad.  I didn’t know why.  I was aware of my breathing and my feelings and my thoughts.  I remembered where I was and what I did seven years ago.  It was September 11.

I remembered watching the film of the airplane crashing into the World Trade Center over and over and over and over again.  The people who escaped or survived the fire and the collapse of the building probably are still shocked.  And all of us who watched the airplane crashing into the World Trade Center over and over and over and over again.  We were shocked.  Maybe all of us who watched have post traumatic stress disorder.  Maybe we’re a nation of people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder or shock or whatever you call it when you’re filled with inescapable horror and can’t do anything about it.  After all, it was September 11.

I remembered sitting in the hot tub with all the lights off.  Abundant stars.  No airplanes.  Silence.  A tiny person on a tiny planet sitting in a hot tub listening to the crickets.  It was September 11.

I’m walking in high golden rod.  Thankfully, there are a few bees.  There are some monarch butterflies.  There are the usual birds who live in bushes.  But  as I walk I feel like one of the many children whose parents are getting divorced who assume that the reason the divorce happened has something to do with them, something, they don’t know what it is, but it had to have something to do with them, didn’t it?  But, I think, the attack did have something to do with me didn’t it?  Some people say it did.  Some people say it’s the chickens of the empire coming home to roost.  And I had something to do with the chickens, didn’t I?  We’re all interconnected, the poultry and me.  This connection is so remote, so far away, so ungraspable, so unfathomable.  I couldn’t figure it out. It didn’t make sense to me.  Sometimes things just don’t make sense. After all, it was September 11.

The dog decided to go for a swim.  I am aware of my breathing.  I am aware of my feelings.  I am aware of my thoughts. The dog and I decided to walk home.  I gave her a treat.  The sky was perfectly blue.  It was just like that day seven years ago. Except there were airplanes in the sky today.  But my country continues to suffer from its post traumatic stress disorder or shock or whatever you call it when you’re filled with inescapable horror and can’t do anything about it.

6 comments

Skip to comment form

    • davidseth on September 12, 2008 at 12:50 am
      Author

    Thanks for reading.

    • kj on September 12, 2008 at 3:38 am

    beautiful day in Missouri. i remember looking out the kitchen window to a big hill across the way with a brand new church sitting on top, blue sky, giant American flag waving.  surreal.

    i was on-line with people from all over the country. several people from NYC logged in… some reported fighters being deployed from a state i can’t remember.  i was watching for B2’s… but didn’t see any.

    went downtown to writers group, because that’s what i did on Tuesdays. people sitting in their cars with their doors and windows open, listening to the radio.  i thought, i’ll bet that’s what it looked like in WWII, people listening to the news on their radios.

    on the way home, the main drag was lined for miles with cars waiting to fill up with gas. i wondered what else had happened the two hours i was in at the library.

    we didn’t know if my brother was at the Pentagon that day. we couldn’t get through to anyone. aunts, uncles, siblings, calling all over the country. “where’s X? anyone talk to X?”

    one of my sister’s got through, he was fine. talking to her on the phone, i saw flashes of what i thought were bombs, i thought we’d gone to war with Afghanistan and i freaked out and said i couldn’t talk anymore.

    got up in the wee hours the next morning to fill up both cars with gas while my husband slept, i was in pioneer mode. bunch of old guys at the gas station at 4:00 am, talking. i bought a newspaper.

    friday we drove down to the lake. passed an enormous Confederate flag… the first one i’d ever seen actually flying.

    spent the weekend at the lake. spoke to one person, a fisherman.  “good day to fish,”  “yeah” (or something like that.)  no planes. no boats on the water. beautiful, beautiful gorgeous weekend.

    just surreal.

    • kj on September 12, 2008 at 4:02 am

    seven years, have we processed the trauma from our bodies?  or have our cells passed on the living memory?

    • loonesta on September 12, 2008 at 5:27 am

    woke me up. I had bad jet lag, wondered if the noise was a dream, went back to sleep. We woke up hours later and went up to the roof, only to see a huge plume of smoke where the Trade Center was supposed to be. Kept looking for the buildings through the smoke, but they weren’t there. We lived so close.

    Today I am on a farm, far away, but as you say…”I am aware of my breathing.  I am aware of my feelings.  I am aware of my thoughts.”

    When I write the date I cry. When people bring it up I cry. It is embedded in my pores, in all of us.  

Comments have been disabled.