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                                       politics + culture

Sunday, September 11, 2005

nine eleven

What does it mean to love the city of New York?

Does it mean you love the buildings? The street life? The people? Does it mean that you love all of it, like a big slice of pie, folded up for consumption as you walk down Broadway?

I don't know. But I know I love New York.

It's a teaching city. It will school you. Not just because there are professors and poets, musicians and preachers and rabbis, not because of the learned men and women who sit on the park benches each day. It's a teaching city because it is a city of sorrows, of life lessons, of after-hours wisdom...if you care to listen, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear...New York offers you its hard-won knowledge.

What does it mean, driving in Queens, to see those Towers gone? A heartache. A heartache. What does it mean, from Jersey City looking south? A loss. Too strong. What does it mean to ride below, and to know...about the absence above? A rumble, a screech of metal, a distracted mind.

Of course it's the people, the ones we've lost. Some from the City, some from Long Island, some from Westchester, some from New Jersey. And their brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, sons and daughters and fathers and mothers and lovers and neighbors and cousins....all mixed into the city today. None of us can know, if the shoulder we rub on the subway, is the shoulder of someone burdened by this loss.

Do they love New York too? Or do they hate it...for its taking away?

New York to New Orleans. East Coast to Gulf Coast. Hope and loss. Love and hate and fear. There is no safe place. No matter how straight the rows they make on the Mall...in their ticketed-only, anti-American, Pentagon-sponsered event:

You can't make a straight line out of sorrow and grief.

We already tried that. And that is why...when we remember Viet Nam...we step into the earth, and walk along an uneven wall...a tribute to those we've lost....and untold thousands we forgot.

That's why those who know, who've practised the art of healing and survival for ages, look out to the world today....and say:

We are all Americans, we are all Iraqis, we are all New Yorkers, we are all Afghanistanis, we are all from New Orleans, we are all from Biloxi...and the first step, as its always been, is to open our hearts...our eyes, our souls...

nine eleven. nine eleven. Take it back and hold it close, like someone you've lost. Don't let them take its meaning away...

I love NY.

1 Comments:

  • "New York to New Orleans. East Coast to Gulf Coast. Hope and loss. Love and hate and fear. There is no safe place. No matter how straight the rows they make on the Mall...in their ticketed-only, anti-American, Pentagon-sponsered public event:

    You can't make a straight line out of sorrow and grief.

    We already tried that. And that is why...when we remember Viet Nam...we step into the earth, and walk along an uneven wall...a tribute to those we've lost....and untold thousands we forgot.

    That's why those who know, who've practised the art of healing and survival for ages, look out to the world today....and say:

    We are all Americans, we are all Iraqis, we are all New Yorkers, we are all Afghanistanis, we are all from New Orleans, we are all from Biloxi...and the first step, as its always been, is to open our hearts...our eyes, our souls...

    nine eleven. nine eleven. take it back and hold it close, like someone you've lost. Don't let them take its meaning away..."

    Damn, Paul. That's purdy writin'.

    By Blogger NYBri, at 4:46 PM  

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