Four Years After 9/11

In 2005, I began writing this blog.  It had something to do with the privacy or public notion of words.  I was thinking that morning about the impermanence of life…of all of the floating papers of our lives…of art.   And so this blog was born at the remembrance of those papers fluttering to the ground, from those broken buildings and from all that is ephemeral, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

It is an interesting thing to go back to September 2005 and consider the words that I chose to write down…a blog was born out of those words.




Posted on September 11, 2005


I was spinning my wheels that morning.  There were things to get done as always and so I busied myself with those rituals when one of the children called upstairs to me, “Mom, what is the World Trade Center?”



As I remember it, I stepped out from the bathroom, into the hall where I could see the television clearly.  A voice said, “A plane just flew into the World Trade Center.”



As I set myself down on the couch, a plane hit the second tower.  Smoke and flame billowed heavenward… it was truly something that seemed unbelievable.  It remains so.



It is very early in the morning.  I’ve just come in from the studio…it is only right that I should remember in the silence of this first bit of morning the many who lost their lives and the families they left behind, shattered and rebuilding to this day.


e. e. cummings

here’s to opening and upward,

to leaf and to sap and to your

(in my arms flowering so new)

self whose eyes smell

of the sound of rain and

here’s to silent certainly mountains;

and to a disappearing poet

of always, snow and to morning;

and to morning’s beautiful friend twilight

(and a first dream called ocean)

and let must or if be damned

with whomever’s afraid

down with ought with because

with every brain which thinks

it thinks, nor dares to feel

(but up with joy; and up

with laughing and drunkenness)

here’s to one undiscoverable

guess of whose mad skill each

world of blood is made

(whose fatal songs are moving in the moon)

I have enjoyed a beautiful half moon tonight….walking from the studio to the house!  Good night, dear world!  Be kind to those who are lonely or hopeless tonight.

In the Classroom

Posted on September 12, 2005


I played two songs for my students this morning.  One was Deja Vu written by John Fogerty and the other was Wake me up When September Ends by Green Day.  I thought there were common themes in these two pieces of writing and that the melodies were rich, emoting ‘stuff’ that the students could think about, given the circumstances in Iraq.


Just recently they have been considering Ray Bradbury’s short story, All Summer in a Day…and there are also some parallels there; with the seven years of rain….and issues of isolation, sadness and abandonment.  The image of the sun gives us some insight about  hope and its potential in very dark moments.


After listening, I distributed both sets of lyrics and led  some rich discussion about ‘seeing the writing on the wall’. I felt pleased that the people sitting in front of me were going to take some learning with them.


As a follow-up, they will first write a comparison of the two songs and their themes and then go on to discuss which song they prefer and why it is preferred.


Finally, they will find a pathway into the lyrics and write their own narrative based on thoughts that surface as a result of considering the writing of these two powerful songs.  I was excited when one of the boys came to ask me if he could write from a voice in the song Vietnam by Creedance Clearwater Revival.  Good!  I told him that I was especially pleased that he had extended the suggested activity as it will mean more to him this way.


It was a very rewarding day in the classroom.


This writing has provided me a brief shift in posture and in focus.  Now I must return to the studio where work is really pushing forward.  I hope that the energy can be sustained.


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