, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

September 11, 2013

Midweek Musings:

I sit with my cup of coffee.

It is morning and quiet. The kids are asleep, the birds at the feeder. The puppy is on the rug beside me playing with a toy.

The sky is that deep September blue. We can feel it coming: the wind a little brisker, the nights a little cooler. In the harbor, tall masts of the schooners sail in and are gone again. In the late afternoon, by the water’s edge, we linger, watching the golden sun on granite rocks, as the afternoon draws to a close and we try to let go of summer, move into the brisker rhythms of fall.

Today is Sept. 11. Many of us can remember just where we were on that morning.

Could it be 12 years ago now? For me, dropping a child at school, I remember the tall plume of grasses in a garden across the street. Then I got in my car, turned on the radio, and everything changed, in the blink of an eye.

For some of us, the day brought complete and devastating personal loss. For others, no friend or relative died, but we were witness to the horror — towers, planes, streets filled with smoke and ash, people running, firemen. The years go by but we do not forget.

So how shall I live this Sept. 11 these years later? There is nothing I can do or say that could be testimony enough. And yet, I must do something, even in the smallest of ways.

I sip my coffee and watch the puppy on the floor. “Beginner’s mind,” the Buddhist tradition whispers in my ear. The practice of pretending you are, once again, a beginner — just for today. Trying to look at each person you encounter, each thing you do, each place you go, with new eyes, as if you have never seen any of it before.

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