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.


  1. It's truly inspirational that people who have experienced such terrible tragedies - ordinary vulnerable people with no special resilience - can somehow recover from it and continue to find life rewarding. Whether we're guided by religion or just some wise role model, it's possible to overcome even the grimmest circumstances.

  2. I appreciate this very personal post, Kylie. It is so difficult to talk about one's relationship to God, I know I find it immeasurably difficult, and it is interesting to hear about yours. Not just to survive, but to live--I like that and it is a good aspiration.

  3. Whilst I have no great objection to the American Remembrance series of events marking 10 years post 9/11 there have been tragedies just as big elsewhere. What about the tragedy of the civilian populations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Those totals far exceed by 100's 0f % the losses on 9/11. Stalin had millions murdered.
    What about Kosovo? On and on we could go. Why were Saudis the perpetrators? Why would "trainee" pilots want to learn takeoff and not landing procedures.
    God is our refuge and Strength.

  4. I think there is one word that appiles to that tragic day and that simply is : Loss
    Loss of life
    Loss of innocence
    Loss of security
    Loss of a comfortable existence Loss of trust
    Loss of cultural tolerance
    Loss of our way of life forever

  5. I like it when you talk about your religion, Kylie. Sometimes, it's hard for me to not ask more questions that are welcome about such things, but I do try.

    I don't think America has healed (or is healing) from 9/11. I think of what we've done this way. Imagine that a black man kills your sister, so you go out and kill all the black men you can find. That's been the American approach to 9/11. We're no better than the people who want to kill us, and I despair for us.

  6. snow,
    you can ask anything you want but i dont guarantee i can answer!

    yes, your analogy is spot on and while that is happening there is no healing for the nation but there has been for individuals.

    isnt it interesting that at least some of those personally affected have moved forward but the nation as a whole has not?

    yes, it is all loss and loss is always painful. hopefully, though, it doesnt end there, hopefully there is or will be growth.
    it's cliched to say that, i know but once the horrible thing happens everyone might as well try to channel the emotion into something good.

    if nothing else the US has learned to be more security conscious, although i'm sure it thought it was before

    survival is so much less than life!

    mr charleston,
    thank you sir!

    some are mmore successful and move through the process faster than others but they should give hope to us all

  7. there is nothing hypocritical because you are a good person. you try to emulate that which you believe in so you're good to go. someone i kind of know once said, "some days a fail. some nights i say, 'sorry, jesus, i'll do better tomorrow.' that is all He asks of me, that I try every day to be the best person I can be."

  8. You truly amaze me, Kylie. I am honored to call you a friend. And I'm adding this quote to my list of those that keep me going when I want to give up:

    "We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey. ~Kenji Miyazawa"

    Love to you and your family.

  9. fifth elephant,
    can i use your name here? yeah any how, thanks,that means a lot.
    i know that my best is enough but i also know that my slip ups are offputting to some so i tend to avoid being too out there, religiously speaking :)

    thank you! you know what they say "takes one to know one" you do pretty good yourself!

    isnt the quote good? i just found it in quote garden and thought it matched


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