Music is powerful.
I’m sure it doesn’t affect everyone the same, but it is a powerful force with me. It always has been.
I was reminded of that today. I woke with a heavy heart, knowing this day would not be easy as an American, or a journalist. I knew I would see the images over and over again, and would feel the grief and loss again.
My mood shifted a lot. Sometimes, I was sad beyond words. Sometimes I felt okay, almost normal. Sometimes I could see video of the twin towers and not feel the lump in my throat. But add some music, and I was a wreck.
I went to the grocery story tonight. I felt fine. As I left, I even thought about the fact that I felt okay. In the car on the way home, I was listening to N.P.R., and they were talking about a song that has become the anthem of grief for our nation. I can’t remember the name of the song, but I recognized it. It’s a song dominated by stringed instruments – all playing dissonant chords. To hear the music, the familiar weight of grief returned. It’s been under the surface all day, hidden, then emerging at the slightest catalyst.
I am sad. But I know tomorrow will be easier for me, as will the next day. But I guess one of the things that saddens me the most, is thinking about the people who will not feel much better tomorrow. Today, I remembered 9-11, but many can’t forget it even for a moment. I saw an interview today with a woman who lost her husband. She was asked if there were at least a few good days now. She said no. Each day she just tries to make it through. I am sad for her and the thousands of others who’s burdens will not be lifted tomorrow.
It’s the Eve of the big anniversary.
In some ways though, September 10th makes me sadder than the 11th.
This time last year, I didn’t know much about Afghanistan, the Taliban, or even Osama Bin Laden. This time last year, tomorrow was just another day as far as I knew. This time last year, thousands of people were still alive, still with their families, still planning the rest of their lives with no clue theirs would end the next day. This time last year the renovations on the Pentagon were nearing completion, the Twin Towers still dominated New York’s Skyline, and only a handful of people had ever heard of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
It’s the anniversary of the last day we didn’t think we needed to care about these things. I’m sad because I wish I could take things back to the way they were a year ago. I remember what I was doing at 8:47 on September 11th, but I wish for the life of me I could remember what I was doing September 10th and that I could still feel the same way about the world.
Yeah, I know it’s several days late, but here’s the Friday Five.
1. What is your biggest pet peeve? Why? When people smack their food. Especially if you’re on the phone with them.
2. What irritating habits do you have? I pop my knuckles. Drives Lee crazy.
3. Have you tried to change the irritating habits or just let them be? I tried not to pop my knuckles one day. It lasted a few hours then I gave up.
4. What grosses you out more than anything else? Why? Roaches. They are disgusting. I hate them alive, but they’re still gross dead because of the way they crunch when you try to pick them up to throw them away.
5. What one thing can you never see yourself doing that other people do? Breaking committments. I think it’s rude when people say you can count on them to be somewhere or do something, and then they bail.
I was at the vet with Millie today. She wasn’t sick, just needed her yearly check up and shots. We were in the waiting area when a man came in holding a dog. I think she was a cocker spaniel. I could tell she was older because she had those smoky, glazed over eyes dogs get when they’re old and don’t see too well.
As the man talked with the vet tech at the desk, it became clear the dog was being put down today. I couldn’t tell if the man was upset or not, he didn’t really show any emotion. I started petting Millie, feeling sad about the situation, and she didn’t help when she starting whimpering.
Lee and I have been on vacation this week, and are finally finished working on the front yard – for now. Are you ever really finished when it comes to house work? I think not.
We’ve taken our yard from a dirt pile with mismatched azaleas and overgrown plant beds framed by cinderblocks — to what I believe to be a much nicer yard. We still have work to do; we bought all the dwarf mondo grass Home Depot had in stock – but it wasn’t nearly enough. So we won’t have a nice green yard completely until we can plant the rest, and we may do some more stuff with flowers … but check out our “Vacation” Pictures to see what we’ve done so far with the yard and porch light. Let’s just hope we don’t kill the new plants.
My mom came to visit Friday. Saturday, our plan was to spend a few hours soaking up sun at the beach. The weather, however, was not cooperating.
It had rained for six days straight. Saturday morning was no different, and when I woke I immediately heard the rain pounding my window. We decided to go to Tybee anyway and eat at the Breakfast Club, then go walk on the beach with our umbrellas. At least that way mom would get to see the ocean. We almost took our swimsuits – just in case. I even had mine in my hand as we were headed out the door, but it was so overcast I dropped it on the coffee table and left without it.
When do we stop being fearless?
When I was younger, you couldn’t keep me out of the ocean if I had a chance to swim. We would visit the beach, and I would head straight for the waves, and not get out until it was time to pack it up and go back to the hotel. I would play in the water so long that at night, when I closed my eyes, I could still feel the rocking motion of the waves. Nothing would stop me – not the fear of skin cancer, sharks, pollutants, or jellyfish.
We had a crazy storm here today.
This morning was beautiful. After church, Lee and I did a little window shopping, and as we came out of the last store, suddenly the sky had darkened. On the way home, it started to rain just a little.
About a half hour later, it was like someone turned on the faucet. No, even more than that – someone had turned on the firehose. I was cooking, and opened the kitchen window to watch. The wind was pulling at the tree limbs, the Spanish moss was waving like so many flags, and the lightning and thunder were constant. After a few window-rattling blasts, Luca came flying through the cat door into the kitchen, no longer content to be alone.
Today has been a really good day.
It didn’t start that way though.
I had been looking forward to sleeping in – no alarm clock. But at 7:30, just 15 minutes later than my normal alarm-clock time, Millie decided it was time to get up. I let her out into the house, in the hopes she would crawl onto the couch and go back to sleep – something she likes to do most days. But just a short time later, Lee and I were awakened to the sound of her barrelling through the house. This is not a good thing, and usually means she is chasing the cat. She is definitely not sleeping.