Last year as my introduction to Patch as a blogger, I was invited to contribute my story about 9/11. It was a strange experience putting into words what no words could actually capture by too little or too much. And yet, although I had often deliberately not spoken about that day, even rebelled at all of the "remembrances," it was just so hard to do year after year, I finally felt good about "saying it like it was" having lived the experience first-hand.
This year, I somehow needed to not just remember but speak, really speak from my heart, not just tell a story...there is always something left unsaid or something which bears repeating and this excerpt, for me, has, is and will always be, at the forefront of my mind. Thank you for your generosity in listening. Peace.
We kept being told that there was more coming that day more planes even missiles if you can believe that, and so after watching the first Tower burn on NY1, then losing all telephone connection to friends, family and colleagues, I ran onto the street at 6th Avenue and west 4th because I suddenly felt like I didn't want to die alone.
There I stood surrounded by thousands of people walking uptown like the exodus of the Blitzkrieg, who at one moment all simultaneously turned to face downtown to watch the second tower fall.
In that moment, a deafening silence came over the avenue, one that was not broken by the crumbling of steel and concrete and smoke in the distance. We couldn't hear it.
Where there were cries of terror and shock on the street when the first tower came down, this time there was nothing. Just an acknowledgment of this surreal thing that was happening before all of our eyes.
That day and night as I walked around the city trying to run into people I knew, knock on doors, find my boyfriend, my brother, my neighbors to make sure they were ok; attempt to donate anything at all, time, clothes, food, blood, unbelievably I kept thinking about a line I had read in Shakespeare's King Lear, which I finally understood with such force as to fully understand how tragic this all was.
EDGAR [Aside]... the worst is not
So long as we can say 'This is the worst.'
-- When we all stood on the avenue looking but not being able to speak, that was the moment I think everyone knew that this was the worst thing that had ever happened.
Because no one could say it.
That, my dear friends, was a bit of what it was like that day.
I will never forget.