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ordinary day

ordinary day

September 10, 2001. The last day of the time that will now be known as pre 9/11.

It was a Monday. I was cursing other cars on the road, cursing Blogger, which I had just switched to, just cruising along on a normal Monday.

Later, DJ's baseball game was rained out after it started and I attended a "meet the teacher" night at the middle school Natalie had just entered.

It was just an ordinary Monday and I went to sleep that night thinking that the next day would be just an ordinary Tuesday.

It may sound cliched, even dramatic, but that was the last ordinary day I had in the past year.

The reminders are always there. There are still banners, now frayed and weather-worn, hanging from overpasses. There are still flags, though not as many, waving from car antennas. There is the news, every day the news, and heightened states of terror alerts and bin Laden's face always peeking at me from one news website or another.

There hasn't been a day in the past year when I haven't thought about. When I haven't stared at the laminated card from Pete Ganci's funeral that sits in its place on my car visor.

September 10 was the last day I took my freedoms for granted, the last day I looked at planes flying low above my house with awe instead of fear, the last day that a beautiful fall morning with a clear blue sky would not evoke desperate memories.

It was the last day that my children knew of life without fear of terrorism. The last day that they felt true childhood innocence, the last day that they were too young to care about world politics.

It was an ordinary day. It's as if one day you were running through tall blades of grass with barefeet, spinning and dancing and celebrating the warmth and the next day there was winter and ice and blackened skies.

The storm never cleared. The clouds still hang overhead, always threatening, never quite storming. But they are there.

I want to run through the grass of September 10, 2001 again. I want life to feel ordinary.


i had nothing to say for long, or rather, i just didn't know what to say, how to say, who to say. so many things, so many thoughts, so many lives and i think it'll be over soon, and i think, the pain will go away and the wounds will heal.

a year has passed already?

i came home last night, tired and jittery, something in my bones that couldn't sit still, watched a little tv, desperately trying to avoid all coverage and images till something stopped me and i watched. i watched and watched and couldn't stop, i watched and goosebumps came, i watched and that icky heavy thud in your chest came, i watched and the tears came....finally. again.

then my mom said no more watching. then my mom said it's okay. then my mom said everything's alright. then i realized my skin was yellow and hers was white.

so i went to be alone.

i walked out to the bay and felt the clicks of my sandals against the dock, the flop, the rhythm it made against the wood and sat there watching the sun set. watching the mullets leap into the air and the dolphins splash in between waves..and felt peace.

i came home, determined to say something, anything. i sat and wrote and wouldn't stop. my very last post, how come we're still here again? just in case anything happened, just in case you didn't know, i love you.

take care of yourself and be safe okay?


Speaking as one of the millions fortunate enough to have been miles away, I would like things to be "normal" again, too.

I'd like to not feel like a hate/war-monger for wanting to bury Hussein and Bin Laden. I'd like to not feel like a jerk for agreeing with Bush on many things and vehemently disagreeing on many more. I'd like people to stop targeting harmless, sincere Muslims when those same people worship and God from a Bible that, if not read carefully, can be misread as promoting the same kinds of war they claim all Muslims want. I'd like for those people to really, just for five minutes, focus on what Christ really said. Five minutes of truly focusing on that would shut them up about Islam.

I want artists who don't mean what they say to shutup - and stopping looking for PR and photo opps. I want the artists who do mean what they say respected, and taken out of that lump of insincere, greedy idiots I mentioned in the previous sentence.

I want people not to hurt anymore, but I want people to have the sense to realize action is all people like Hussein and Bin Laden understand. I want people who propose peace to know that because I support war, I do not eschew peace.

I just want it all to end. For people to stop hurting. That's what I want.

It's funny. As parents, we remember how "innocent" things were in the good old days. Despite all the advances in child-rearing techniques, science, medicine... it seemed that life in the recent past was not as simple and carefree as it had been in my youth.

Then came 9/11, and a whole new perspective. For the second time in my lifetime (the first being the "October Missile Crisis"), I had experienced a watershed event in history that had me fearing the end of the world, and leaving me with the helpless feeling that things would never be the same again.

My feelings of hatred and anger are focused on the few who have been identified as culprits. I am Jewish, and have been fortunate to work with many people of middle eastern descent (who, as a group, were appalled by the actions of the terrorists). As a result, I have been less inclined to paint the entire population with a single brush. However, my wariness has been heightened, as has my fear. And for this, I am resentful.

I can't get back that feeling of relative innocence I had a short year ago. I can only hope that children who were too young to be affected by last year's events can grow up in relative safety; free from the fear that the rest of us feel.

You are much braver than I am. I have spent the last year not thinking about it, because whenever I do, it brings tears to my eyes. My dad made these videos from MP3's and images from news coverage. He had them playing at Christmas...I made him turn them off because I couldn't bear to watch them.

You are so very brave to confront this each day, and to be willing to express your feelings on it. I wish I had the strength to do the same.

I had been working on websites for about 2 days straight and when I first heard about it I thought I had just been awake for too long. When I woke up and started checking my emails. So many of them started out "I cried for my country today"... I knew it was for real. I used every dirty trick I know to send surfers to the Red Cross donations page for the next two weeks. I still have a couple of sites powered by Circle Jerk scripts that send about 15% of the visitors they get to the Red Cross page.

I remember that day. It was my first day of working at a new job. A fresh start. Little did I know...

"I want to be ordinary again" - beautiful and touching.

I had less shock and disbelief than some because I live in Oklahoma City and went thru the tragedy of Murrah Building bombing. Although that was a "homegrown" terrorist I knew then the hate people could have for a government and I knew (and know) that it would (and will) happen again. I have great sorrow for those lives lost and for those left behind as I have walked in their shoes. But my strong faith gets me thru. I believe in angels and I believe they watch over me. They cannot always protect me, but if something were to happen to me they will be at the gates to meet me and welcome me. God's blessings to all.

Here is what I wrote in my journal, one year ago today:

Work went on. So it should have; the major objective of terrorism is to shut down societies. Carrying on is the right thing to do. Ellsworth [AFB] supposedly has gone to Delta, the highest level of alert. People who live on the base were worried about getting home, or about getting home and finding their husbands already on their way overseas.

Hijacking planeloads of innocents and using them as weapons is a new innovation in horror. We should at least be proud to have such enemies. The contempt of such people is the highest possible endorsement. God bless America.

I posted a photo today on Eyesaw that I took a couple of years back when I was last in NYC...the city skyline amazed me that day, it's grand nature overwhelmed my eye's mind, although the peaceful nature of it all perplexed me, how could a city full of millions look so serene from a distance?...
Here in Pittsburgh I attended a noontime mass today to honor those who have fallen and those who suffer to this day...the message contained within, peace, and finding that sense of peace within ourselves, not within others. We all have the ability to overcome inner feelings and emotions of hatred and anger...but to only attempt to change others disrupts that from happening within ourselves. Looking back on the photo I took of the NYC skyline, with the Towers standing as a testament to hard work and determination, I seek that same sense of accomplishment by erecting a structure of peace within myself today, and hoping that everyone else has already accomplished it themselves.