11 September 2009

Time Paradox

It seems like yesterday and at the same time light-years ago that I stood motionless next to a child's hospital bed on what had seemed like an ordinary Tuesday morning - freshly drawn tubes of blood in one hand, ID labels in the other, and a very upset child behind me - staring at CNN video of the World Trade Center Towers as the first tower fell. The nurse next to me started sobbing. I did, too. Even thinking about that moment brings a lump to my throat and I have to work hard to swallow it down.

Later that week on Friday the noon whistle blew at the University of Iowa power plant. Basil Thompson asked our accompanist to cease playing and my character dancing class joined the entire University in marking a minute of silence for all those who lost their lives the Tuesday previous. Basil is gone now, too, from a heart attack suffered while giving a ballet class in 2005 and his memory also seems like yesterday, but also so many ages ago.

After 9/11 I turned to the poetry of Emily Dickinson, an odd choice I know but she has a little poem about hope:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

Always remember.

1 comment:

  1. Great post...you managed to bring a tear to my eye. I'll never forget. No one will, but it speaks for the human spirit that we have the hope to go on.

    Love the poem. I <3 Emily Dickinson.