Thoughts on 9/11
The most important event of the past several months was of course the tragedy of Sept. 11th, which I’ve struggled to write about because the emotions I was feeling about the event were (and still are, to a large extent), so raw. It also felt like everything that could be said about it was said, information tumbled one pile on top of the other, in the literally hours immediately following this cataclysmic jolt to the NY and the world’s psyche. I do remember early on being so outraged by how many times Fox News and MSNBC were indiscriminately re-airing shots from various angles of the planes crashing into the towers and the towers subsequent fall that I mailed some very angry emails, asking them to please be sensitive and less sensationalistic. I also remember being in essentially a daze for probably at least 2 months following the event; like a war refugee (which in some ways we all were, at least psychologically, whether we directly lost someone or not). I remember attending various spontaneous gatherings, in particular at Union Square on 14th street, to which I was drawn on an almost daily basis following the disaster, the grounds there covered at first with ad libbed emotional outbursts, poems, and prayers for humanity, scribbled on brown-colored drafting paper. I remember the endless pictures of “have you seen this person?”; wanting to do whatever I could to help the wounded by offering to donate blood, but realizing quickly that there was little to do because people essentially either got out relatively intact or perished; and I remember the need to be with friends and loved ones almost constantly; being alone was unthinkable; staying in the city, at first, quite questionable.
I remember going up to Ottawa shortly after, and, like millions of others, being nervous about getting back on an airplane, and I remember doing my first post-disaster gig with John Geggie, a duo concert which took on the air of a reflective memorial, before transitioning to joyous interaction. And I remember, for a time, seriously re-considering whether I wanted to be in the city any more at all.
Now it’s several months later, and while the spectre of being a nation forever at war has receded somewhat, being now replaced with more immediate, day-to-day concerns of running my “business of one”, the memory will never completely disappear. Just recently there was an article in I believe Vanity Fair (which I bought initially because of it’s cover devoted to characters from the upcoming Star Wars: Attack of the Clones!), and there was a surprise article about an upcoming film to be broadcast on tv and possibly released in theatres documenting the WTC disaster literally from the inside. Just reading about what the film crew, who just happened to be in the buildings when the disaster first struck, went through made me shudder inside; my stomach cringed and I couldn’t even continue reading. So the memory fades but will never be forgotten…