September 11th, 2001, was a big emotional punch to the gut to all of us, everywhere. Most particularly to those on the east coast of course, but we were all blindsided by it. It’s one of those days we remember and tell stories about like JFK’s assassination, the Moon Landing, John Lennon’s death: #WhatIWasDoingWhenIHeardTheNews
One thing I remember of that morning was praying with my then-companion Harry before we both went our separate ways to work. I also remember he annoyed the heck out of me, but that was fairly typical. (Nonetheless, I still loved him.)
My most vivid memory of the day was of my special ed students leaping off the bus. I thought I might have to tell them what was happening, but they were eager to tell me. We went to the classroom and I let them talk and talk. I was so grateful to be someplace where I felt useful. I felt very blessed.
That year my life changed in so many ways, as happened to many people. Does anybody remember September 10th, 2001? I don’t. And yet in some ways that was our last day of innocence, our final hours in the land of “it can’t happen here.” Yeah, in 2020 again, we are learning that many things we thought just couldn’t happen in America are happening in America, and many more may happen if we are not vigilant.
Okay, this might seem like a turn into left field, but are you aware that the CIA, an agency of our government, overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran in 1953? WE did this. If you want to read more about this here’s a link to Wikipedia:
I’m not bringing this up to say we deserved what happened on 9/11. No, God, no one deserves that. I’m bringing it up as one example of our long, complex relationship with the Middle East and the rest of the world. When President George W. Bush said, “They hate us because we’re free,” I found it galling. There are people in Third World countries who chant “death to America,” because our government has done stuff, stuff we did quietly, that didn’t always make it into the history books we read our children. Now maybe you’ll read about how the American government installed the Shah as the leader of Iran, and you’ll think it was a smart, logical thing to do. I myself wish we’d never done it. I think the history of the Middle East and our relations with the countries in that part of the world would be much different if it had never happened. But I’ve no wish to debate hypotheticals. One thing that is great about America now is that we can debate and disagree and it’s fine. Nonetheless I do want to say most emphatically that even though I sometimes disagree with my government, I still love my country. I love the ideals of democracy and liberty that we hold up as our vision for ourselves and the world. I assert that my love is stronger because I am not naïve; I know my nation’s dark side and I want more for us. I know we can do better.
These are dark times for our country. We have not been able to contain this deadly pandemic. The subsequent economic downturn has cost many individuals and families their livelihoods and their homes. People are suffering. There’s unrest in the streets as Black and Brown people justifiably demand more and better. As I write this I’m looking out my window at a sky filled with smoke from wild fires here in California. Climate change may soon make all of this moot anyway.
So here and now on the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, please join me in prayers, affirmations, good energy, hope. Whatever you imagine the Universe to be, please join me in asking for better days ahead.
I pray for and affirm peace and healing for all of us, as individuals, as community, as nation and planet. We are all, each of us, worthy of compassion, justice, and freedom. We are all worthy of love, happiness, fun, creativity and beauty. We are all beloved of the Universe, channels for Divine Energy, worthy of God’s grace. May we know the joy that is our birthright.
All of my worries and anxieties, I give them to God. I release them into Divine Essence. Amen.
Photo by Jesse Mills