Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday-8:30am: Personal Memory of 9-11

Ten years ago started out as just a typical day. I was a fifty-year old college student. When the alarm went off I hit the snooze and laid in bed with tears rolling off my cheeks into my ears and onto the pillow. School had barely started and I was already so physically weak, exhausted beyond belief, and with the now familiar constant searing pain all over my body, it was a challenge to get out of bed, let alone make it to the bus stop to get to class.

I'd adjusted the alarm to allow myself a good half hour to forty-five minutes of snooze tapping so that I could slowly stretch out some of the pain before I even attempted to get out of bed. I also needed that time to psyche myself up for meeting the challenge of another difficult day--hopefully with a smile on my face. No need to bring other people down, right?

I remember thinking in the shower and as I dressed how this year I was already physically worse than last year...and how, since I couldn't take less than a full load at Concordia (private school), that maybe I really should look into MSUM (public college) for next year so that I could have a lighter class load...then maybe I would feel much better and things would turn around for me.

Hobbling a little less, standing a little taller, I headed for the living room. Glancing out the window to assess the morning, I clicked on the TV so I could check the weather channel prediction before I packed up my books and decided on how many layers and which coat or jacket to wear. Remote in hand, I stood a few feet in front of the TV and waited for the screen to come on so I could punch in the weather channel.

What appeared on the screen was the picture of the first tower smoking against the blue sky. What?! The announcers were wondering what had happened. I watched and waited with the rest of the world. But then a plane disappeared into the other tower...erasing all doubt.

At that moment, I remember an almost physical sensation of this monstrous wave of black fear energy instantly radiating and spreading outward from the towers--even before they fell. It felt like the blast from an atomic bomb--knocking people backwards. My first thought was--No! I closed my eyes. Don't let this do that to you! I felt like I wanted to wrap my arms around everybody! Tell them--Don't be afraid. Please! Please! Hold onto the light! Choose the light!

This lifting sensation gradually came over me. My entire body buzzed and tingled. I stood, eyes closed--even the sounds from the TV faded away--and this core of calm took hold of me. A vision of waves of dark energy spreading across the earth like ripples on a pond increased in power as the initial fear and shock of the people gave birth to raw panic, anger, and hatred. I stood.

As I spread my arms I felt my heart open so wide it was my whole being. Waves of this love energy began to wash over me...or through me...or from me...I don't know. But suddenly I realized...I wasn't alone. It was as if I could see rays of bright lights all over the world...reaching out...almost as if we were holding this lace blanket of light covering the earth...

[I had to stop writing because just remembering this reduces me to tears...because it breaks my heart that so many people are still washed in that fear.]

Anyways, I stood in my living room like that for an hour (felt like a couple minutes). Never moved. Never felt my body. Only felt attached by energy to all those other people...radiating white light...the waves of love reaching outward. Never felt so connected to the light, to love, to humanity. And then it slowly subsided. I opened my eyes...was still holding the remote in my hand. They were replaying and replaying that they will probably do again today. I won't watch.

Horrible things happen all the time. It's not what has happened to us, but how we choose to live through it and what we take away from it that determines who we are.

I have never had an experience like that before or since. But 9-11 changed my life in an unexpectedly positive way. Our choices do matter. They do make a difference. We are not alone.

We have chosen.

We are already holding hands somewhere in that dark blanket or in the light blanket.

But we have the gift of free will.

And we can change our minds whenever we choose.


Queenie Jeannie said...

I think the whole world, for better or worse, changed that day. It's amazing to me that EVERYONE remembers exactly where they were, and what they were doing, and how they felt....just as clearly now, as they did then.

Toriz said...

With the time difference I didn't find out until later when I got home from class. I remember mentally going through a list of my friends in the US and trying to remember where they lived....

Were any of them near enough to have possibly been harmed? What about their families?

I just stood there, watching the scenes being shown again, not hearing what was being said properly, and hoping I didn't know someone who had been harmed or killed.

Perhaps a bit more self-centered than the thoughts I should have had, but I was 16, and the USA still felt so far away to me...

Toriz said...

P.S. (since I had to quickly publish for a restart) I say it was a bit more selfish than I should have been, because I was only worrying about if I knew anyone who had been harmed or killed, and not thinking about the others who lost their lives that day.

DJan said...

That is very powerful, Rita. You are right: choice is always ours. You chose the light and love and are still there. So glad to have found you.

Rita said...

Jeannie--Yes, it's like the people who were alive when Kennedy was shot. You remember. True!

Tori--You were only 16 and, besides, it is the most natural thing for any of us to automatically think of the people we know and love first. We wouldn't be human if we didn't! New York seemed very far away to me, too, in Minnesota. ;)

Djan--Hey, sparkly lady! You shine right through my laptop! :):)

Intense Guy said...

I can't bear to watch the "iconic" film of the trade center burning and being hit.

There were so many failures and losses that day... failures of our government to due its primary consitutional duty to protect us, loss of life, freedoms, sense of security, being civilized (next thing you know, the USA is torturing people), and it continues to today and will be there tomorrow.

So so-called war against terror is in and of itself, terror - for those at the receiving end of a misdirected missile from a remote control drone in Afghanistan and Pakistan. (Don't ask me about Iraq, I'm still not clear in my head what that whole "thing" was or is about... "ending a message" rarely seems to send an understandable message)

If people could only just sit and talk sensibly... but the age old religious-economic issues both clouds and roils things.

Your post cuts through the petty hatred, misguided "nationalism" (in a global era), and the frankly mindless (but horrible) things done in the name of religion.

I ache for the day the nasty stuff ends...but have little hope I'll ever see it. There is a lot of goodness in people - and there is a lot ugly.

laurak/ForestWalkArt :) said...

the one and only positive thing that came out of that tragic day...was the bonding of people. for a while anyway, people saw past others' beliefs and colors...and extended a hand...and hugged...and cried in strangers' arms...

hopefully one day...peace will reign...for all.

thanks for sharing your 9/11 memory...xxxooolaura

Rita said...

Iggy--I agree, the War On Terror is a terror in itself. I don't like to watch the towers get hit again every year, either. We reacted with even more religious death fervor, it seems to me. I rarely ever mention politics or religion on my blog, or even in my family for that matter, because people get so riled up. Scary to me. But there is a LOT of goodness. And most people honestly mean well--but their fear and stress overwhelm and rule them. It's better than you think, my friend. *hugs*

Laura--It was a shame to me that when that tragedy united not only us here in the US but our country with the world community--and that opportunity was lost. Fear makes people do crazy things. And then egos and money and such got involved, as they always do. We are certainly slow to learn. But I pray for a time where we will realize we are all in this together...shall sink or swim together...and we will cooperate. Even if we are forced to by necessity, it will be a grand thing. :):)

AliceKay said...

What a powerful experience for you.

I was at work and didn't hear about the attacks until customers started coming in and telling us what was happening. I remember coming home and watching those unbelievable scenes being shown on the TV over and over. And yes, I was riveted to the TV.

I still watch the news reports and videos taken from that day. It's like I'm drawn to the TV. I feel such a sense of loss every time they show the towers falling. And then there was the plane that hit the Pentagon, and Flight 93 that crashed into flames in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, most likely saving thousands of people in Washington, DC.

My brother-in-law worked with the Red Cross at Ground Zero for several weeks at two different times following the attacks. He says it was total devastation.

Rebag said...

Powerful and moving.....None of us will forget that moment in our lives... It is amazing Sunday after of the ladies i the nursing home I work at says to me " I still remember what I was doing when Japan attacked us and when JFK was shot". The she proceeded to tell me how history revolves and all of some how will always be in the making of history...she said very simply "That is just how it is"// After a few hours of thinking about that I went back and thanked her for such wise words!

Rita said...

AliceKay--I watched it for a while later that day, too. You'd see those images at least a dozen times an hour. Tragic. But I'd rather hear positive stories of how people have survived and done well since then, I guess. Just me. Your brother-in-law is a brave, kind man. :)

Reba--Yes, it's not like we haven't been attacked before. Spain, Britian, Japan...who else? We've committed genocide with the American Indians and kidnapped & sold people for slavery. We've had presidents assassinated and buildings bombed and people starving in the streets. The rich have always taken advantage of the poor as often as possible. Horrible things happen. I totally agree with her. That's just how it is. And as long as humanity lives in fear of itself, it will remain just how it is. ;)

Dee Ready said...

That transcendent or mystical experience in which you become One with the Light of All Creation and of all Goodness was such a gift. Such a blessing.

And I can always feel in your postings that you have retained both the peace given to you that day and the sense of Oneness with all creation.

Thank you, Rita, for describing that experience, for hunting and searching for the words that would convey it to us, and for being open to its possibilities.

Peace in the Oneness of All Creation.

Rita said...

Dee--Thanks! I am never sure if I can put into words those experiences that have no words. I've been blessed to have several of those wordless spiritual experiences in my life. You're so sweet! Have a wonderful day!! :):)

Toriz said...

I still feel kind of guilty that I didn't really give much thought to all the people who were hurt, lost their lives, or lost loved ones that day...