Friday, September 11, 2009


It's difficult to be in New York City today. 8 years ago our world changed in the most catastrophic way possible. Time stood still. Shock set in. Horror engulfed us all. I don't know of anyone whose lives were not deeply, eternally affected by the morbid decision of a few men.

And then there was the shift. Once the breath slowly returned to us all, hands started to be held. Heads leaned on shoulders. Tears were wiped away, only to return too quickly. And then, out of the vast and indescribable stillness: voices were raised. Music seemed to be the one balm which could offer a modicum of comfort. That breath, which was stolen from us so violently, found its path again through singing. Unity happened.

It's not only the memory of the terror that saddens (and still shocks) me - but instead, there seems to be a deeper sadness hovering over today: the inconceivable, unforgivable loss of that unity. The sadness seems to mix with shame and anger as I watch the division deepen in this country and around the world. How did we dare to allow that to happen?

As I was in Alaska - beautiful, astonishing, miraculous Alaska - it dawned on me how very, very small we are. And yet, we are also immense as well when we unite. Funny, that.

I must be naive, because in my mind it is crystal clear and so utterly simple. Isn't it?

My thoughts are with the world today, especially those who lost their precious loved ones to the hands of hatred and ignorance. (And that includes all those lives lost in the continued , seemingly endless aftermath of 9/11...)


Kenderina said...

I think I'm naive too :)

AnnaO said...

Dear Joyce,

If everyone could share the naivety you speak of that people like you - who live for beauty and harmony and joy - have, then it would no longer be called naivety, but plain and simple Wisdom.

Quoting Rossini's Il viaggio a Reims, "Viva, viva l'armonia
Ch'è sorgente d'ogni ben."

Thanks, as always, for sharing your thoughts.


Mei said...

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." Albert Einstein.

linnyloo said...

Beautifully written, Joyce. We all must remain vigilant lest the loud voices of hatred and ignorance drown out those of our "better angels."

Glòria said...

Things like this should never happen anywhere in the world. There is no cause that justifies it.

steve49w said...

What happened to that unity? How did agendas take over from what our best interests are? Why do we stand for it?

Francesca said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the memory of this monstrosity, and especially how music seemed to be the only thing that could speak in that time of such immense loss. What a miracle music is in that sense. I marvel at it every single day. Really. You are a beautiful writer (and singer!) and I greatly enjoy reading your blog : )