Sunday, 11 September 2011
We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa
i had no intention of posting about 9/11, given that it is not my story to tell but somehow i am here wondering how to put it together my thoughts for this day.
ten years ago i was woken by my small boy with a story about a plane flying into a building, it must have all happened at about the time i had fallen asleep the night before so i was late to the story. it made little sense to me but i didnt stop to think, i had to get the boys to school and it was on the other side of the world. i did stop to think eventually and the horror was something i could not truly imagine or assimilate so i moved on, saddened but not changed in any real way.
at the time people advised us to cancel our upcoming trip to malaysia, less than three weeks away but i felt that "it" would never happen to me and if it did i wouldnt know much about it so we took the trip. i still feel that way, my fears are more personal than the fear of terrorism, they are tied to my circumstances and change from day to day. people talked of the world never being the same again but the events of that day have made no difference to the way i move through life.
for a number of weeks now i have sat in church on a sunday morning and felt that it is time to talk about my faith here on my blog but what to say? i cannot make any logical argument for God and i fear that my hypocrisies make Him look bad but in these last ten years, as americans have grieved and healed i have walked my own path of grief and healing and the belief that a power bigger than anything else i encounter is looking out for me has been comfort and inspiration. i wont say it has kept me going because nearly all of us, religious or not, keep moving through life for the simple reason that the other choices are unacceptable.
i have seen no answer for the niggly bits of my life but to keep walking and when i could integrate them into my life i have tried to use the teachings of Jesus to help me navigate. even if i have achieved nothing else, the diversion of trying to emulate the perfect human specimen is a relief from life's mundane aspects.
i watched a documentary this evening, the one deemed by at least one journalist to be the best 9/11 programming out of the many hours that will be shown this weekend. it interviewed 5 survivors every year or two since the attacks. each one of those survivors suffered anger, self pity and guilt but made it through to a sense of joy and privilege in being alive, they were each angry at different people but they all came to a position of forgiveness.
i like my spiritual life to be moulded by my own understanding in combination with biblical teaching and the example of some people i regard as God's mirror but whichever way you come by them gratitude, forgiveness and hope would seem to me to be the keys to real life and those five courageous individuals that i "met" tonight should give hope to us all because if they can survive such a monumental event and go on to live, then so can the rest of us and that is what i aspire to, not survival but life.