I woke up to my clock radio as usual. But there was not going to be anything usual about this day. I remember thinking how lucky I was to share an apartment with my besties – both of whom had been kind enough (or just didn’t want to argue) to give me the only actual bedroom while one’s bedroom was basically the back porch and the other’s was the dining room. I remember being thankful when people announced that they had heard from so-and-so who had graduated in previous years – apparently they hadn’t gone in to work that day, or they were scheduled to work later, or they were currently out of town. I remember the eerie quiet of campus. I’m not sure if classes were cancelled or if everyone just decided that this was not a day to sit in a lecture. I remember watching the giant tv that had been brought in to the university center and seeing the towers burn. I watched until I couldn’t watch anymore then would return to the tv once more. It all seemed too surreal and I needed to see in order to believe that it was really happening. I stopped watching when I realized that that wasn’t debris falling from the buildings. I remember hugs lasting longer than they ever had before. I remember holding hands with strangers that night as we stood in candlelight.
I’ve begun to think that perhaps one of the biggest things that the terrorists did to us that day (in addition to, of course, the immense and terrible loss of life) was FEAR. September 12 was a day of panic. How could this have happened? What would happen next? We became afraid of others. Afraid of the past. Afraid of the future. And then the fear turned to anger. And then the anger built and built and built and then turned to a lack of compassion and love. General politeness disappeared and doesn’t seem to be making a return anytime soon.
We hide behind our keyboards and assume that we can say anything and the words are just that – words. We worry about ourselves and our own problems without thinking that, perhaps, we are called to love others. A quick glance at the comments on most posts on Facebook and you will find amazing and astounding levels of anger and hatred. Respect for others seems to be completely gone. For heaven’s sake, we now live in an age in which an elected official can yell out “You lie!” to the President of the United States in the middle of a speech.
There is a great scene in a great movie, Love Actually, when we hear Hugh Grant’s character talk about love being everywhere. So, on this day, let us remember those that we lost but let us do so by remembering what we still have. Give a hug or a smile. Make your written words reflect what you would want others to say to you. Go out of your comfort zone. Enjoy the beauty that is hidden in plain sight.
I don’t normally (or I never have before) get off the topics of crafting, baking, kitty cats and babies on this blog but today I felt the need to get out a few thoughts.
Love really is all around.