Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago, I went to sleep in one world and woke up in another.

Ten years ago, I would not have thought institutionalized prejudice could reroot itself in the US, but it has, it has. Oh my heart aches, but it has.

Ten years ago, I have to admit, to my shame, I assumed we were safe. (As safe as people ever can be.) I did not live with the knowledge that a building could shatter and fall, in my world. Even though one had, in Oklahoma. How this was different (and yet the same) brings me more pain than I can explain.

Ten years ago, we saw what happens we fail to reconcile. What happens after political maneuvering and idiocy (the Taliban as answer to our anti-communist dreams? Not so much now) allow fascism and fundamentalism to take over in a country that had been ravaged for far too long.

Ten years ago, we died. Me, you, them, us. We died.

Ten years ago, innocents died, horrifically. I cannot even begin to imagine the chaos and the pain, nor the pain of those who survived, the grief, the grief, the grief. May the One watch over them and bring healing.

Ten years ago, the response of patriotism saddened me. Is pride our only answer? Can we not stay with grief? Can we not start asking some serious questions? And assuaging the world that sees only arrogance in our posturing? I understand patriotism, but I fear it, too. The mob. Individuals aren't as scary as the whole. Until they are.

Ten years ago, I woke up to a world that had changed, forever.

Ten years ago, we heard countless stories of good, strong, righteous people who helped, with no other cause than that they could. New York shone in the aftermath. And yes, I am proud of humanity for that which was showcased, after. For the ones who walked and walked and saved each other that day (and every day after). I am grateful. Humanity redeemed. Across lines of division, humanity shone by proving generosity was stronger than hate. Thank you.

Ten years ago, I woke up and watched, as you watched, as we all watched and could not look away, as ashes fell on the City.

Ten years ago, I woke up.