The Eleventh Day Of September

Today, acknowledging summer’s demise, I finally turned on the heat. Air chill, perhaps related to the gray, darkening sky. Or, perhaps, the turning of the seasons announced boldly; the date on the calendar be damned! I wonder, how cold was it, nine years ago, when the world went a bit chill?

Well, perhaps not cold, but rather hot. So often, since Nine-Eleven, Americans delved head-first into fear based reaction. Easily wrenched into “evil=muslim” paradigm. Fear. Our world shown uncontrolled, our dominance shown illusory, and the grand mirage of a world looking longingly at us (US?) for love and guidance blown apart. Fear shoved into our face, our people unused to this sensation. Irrational rage birthed.

I hoped that we, as a people, would remain above petty vindictiveness and bigoted rage. That we would be stronger, less alarmist. Our reaction to such tragedy based on effectiveness and reason. My hope remains longing for fulfillment. At moments glimmers of hope exist. Yet, I see this rage everywhere.

For me, Nine-Eleven speaks to the ease at which rage takes hold. Those flying the planes delighted in the suffering they caused. People chose immense harm, overriding all scripture’s demand for compassion. Ultimately, failure of humanity to rise to it’s potential. A potential spoken of by myriad prophets. Compassion, love; God’s commands overridden by a mad desire to slay for God. Madness!

In this morning’s chill I drove to breakfast with friends. On my drive I passed our local fire station, noticing the flag at half-staff. A sober reminder of the dreadful history of this day. Yet, up in the sky, against a horizon of blue sky and fluffy clouds sat a hot-air-balloon. They drift skyward upon a wave a hope. Autumn, a time of winding down, approaching the death of winters, glimmers with the residual hope of summer, acknowledging its eventual return. Life returns, hope remains; for that. A day will come when warmth returns, life blooms, and the heat turns off for a few months.

4 Comments

  1. Honestly, were the people on the plane really all that aware of what they were about to do? Did they know that they were going to hijack the plane more than 24 hours before actually boarding it? And even as they carried out their deeds, I don't think any of them (besides the pilots) knew that they were going to crash the buildings into the tower. And did they delight in the pain they caused? Or, did they even have enough perspective to see past the intense pain that was their own lives? If only they could stand up to the Americans! Their lives wouldn't have to be so miserable! And if only we could stand up to the terrorists! Perhaps our lives won't have to be so miserable! Perhaps, in a sense, perhaps the hijackers were victims along with everyone else on the plane. At what point do we put our guns away and start rebuilding their schools and infrastructure? At what point do we prioritize an end to human suffering, so nobody has to reach this point of desperation? We have the potential to offer a helping hand – a hand not motivated by power or profit, but one extended purely out of compassion.

    The US Government and so many citizens chose vengeance — immense harm, overriding all scripture’s demand for compassion. Ultimately, failure of humanity to rise to it’s potential. A potential spoken of by myriad prophets. Compassion, love; God’s commands overridden by a mad desire to slay for God. Madness!

  2. Honestly, were the people on the plane really all that aware of what they were about to do? Did they know that they were going to hijack the plane more than 24 hours before actually boarding it? And even as they carried out their deeds, I don't think any of them (besides the pilots) knew that they were going to crash the buildings into the tower. And did they delight in the pain they caused? Or, did they even have enough perspective to see past the intense pain that was their own lives? If only they could stand up to the Americans! Their lives wouldn't have to be so miserable! And if only we could stand up to the terrorists! Perhaps our lives won't have to be so miserable! Perhaps, in a sense, perhaps the hijackers were victims along with everyone else on the plane. At what point do we put our guns away and start rebuilding their schools and infrastructure? At what point do we prioritize an end to human suffering, so nobody has to reach this point of desperation? We have the potential to offer a helping hand – a hand not motivated by power or profit, but one extended purely out of compassion.

    The US Government and so many citizens chose vengeance — immense harm, overriding all scripture’s demand for compassion. Ultimately, failure of humanity to rise to it’s potential. A potential spoken of by myriad prophets. Compassion, love; God’s commands overridden by a mad desire to slay for God. Madness!

  3. Daniel, I am unsure how far down the chain of command awareness of the actions were. Was it only the pilots? Was it all of them? Regardless, many of them knew the full plans and felt good about their choice. Feel free to refine my statement to include only the pilots, if need be. The amount of time the leaders spent planning, educating themselves, living engaged within American communities, living (on the surface, at least) well acclimatized American lives speaks to awareness. Their vilification of us made it easy to see any suffering caused to be holy retribution.

    In the end, though, this is quibbling detail. Your conclusion captures me main idea: that the notion of murdering for God is madness.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

  4. Daniel, I am unsure how far down the chain of command awareness of the actions were. Was it only the pilots? Was it all of them? Regardless, many of them knew the full plans and felt good about their choice. Feel free to refine my statement to include only the pilots, if need be. The amount of time the leaders spent planning, educating themselves, living engaged within American communities, living (on the surface, at least) well acclimatized American lives speaks to awareness. Their vilification of us made it easy to see any suffering caused to be holy retribution.

    In the end, though, this is quibbling detail. Your conclusion captures me main idea: that the notion of murdering for God is madness.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

Comments are closed.