Monday, September 11, 2006

WHERE HAVE WE BEEN? WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?

My candle
My Candle

Five years ago, I was on the phone, gossiping with a friend about a co-worker's transgressions on the job. We had a lot to say about nothing. My caller ID beeped several times--friends and family
members trying to tell me what had happened.

For a whole hour, I didn't pick up. At that moment, it seemed that nothing could be more important than our petty grudges.

Five years later, the big questions on the news shows seems to be: Have we learned anything? Are we safer now?

I don't know about our country or our leaders, but I hope I learned that some things just don't matter. And that time is too precious to waste on them.

On September 11th, 2006, I, like millions of others, remember those who died in the towers and on the planes. And I also remember those around the globe who live with the horrors of war every day.

Tonight I will light my little candle for peace in all nations and I will set it in the window. It is a small, insignificant act, but it's all I can do. Join me?

33 comments:

ainelivia said...

My candle is white with lavender beads around the edge. I'll be think of you, lighting yours, and thinking of all who suffer from the effects of war, all, as I light it tonight 9pm GMT.

Living Part Deux said...

I walked into a new job that morning, after a long commute sans radio. The entire floor was ghostly quiet, so I followed strangers to a large conference room where ashen faces gazed at a television hung high in a corner of the room. I followed the same strangers to an even larger room for prayer. Pray. That's all we can do. That's still all I feel I can do. And light a candle showing support for the thousand you describe around the world who live in constant states of upheaval an horrer.

Patry Francis said...

ainelivia: Thank you for describing your candle. Mine is sage green, small, but it sits majestically in a large black iron holder. I will be thinking of your light at 9 (once I find out what time GMT is here.)

Rebekah: I find it significant that the room for prayer was larger than the room for fear. Thanks for sharing this memory.

Susan Henderson said...

Amen to that.

Sky said...

My husband and I will join you here on the west coast, too, Patry, for a Light in the Darkness meditation.

Patry Francis said...

Susan: I know that those of you living in the city feel this day in a particularly acute way. I'm thinking of you.

Sky: Thank you, and what a lovely way to phrase it.

b v n said...

Nice one...I felt really bad when I visited NY last summer,its so sad that Newyorkers live the pain everyday. Nice blog...

The Curmudgeon said...

I won't get home until late tonight -- but the candle is lit: I too pray for peace. I can't understand who would not -- even though I know there are those who don't, and wouldn't.

And thank you for your kind words.

Sustenance Scout said...

I'm right there with you, Patry. K.

robin andrea said...

We're with you, too.

rdl said...

Are we lighting at sunset? going to find candle. so sad.

tinker said...

I lit a blue Milagros candle for peace - for everyone.

Patry Francis said...

Friends: I love to think of you all lighting your candles. The world feels a little more hopeful because you are in it.

gulnaz said...

its amazing how we allow unimportant stuff to rule our lives, maybe it has to be that way but perspective is something which keeps us sane.

i hope and pray that there is peace in this world and also peace in our hearts.

gerry rosser said...

I saw a post of yours on A Mindful Life, and you mentioned Cape Cod. I'm also a Cape Codder (in the summer). I didn't check "blogger" below, because the box asks for my password and I can't fathom why. Anyway, I like your blog. Kathryn put me on her links list, and that made me happy.
My sentiments about the 9/11 tragedy are inexpressible.

Patry Francis said...

gulnaz: "peace in our hearts"--it all begins there.

gerry: Thank you and welcome! How nice to see a fellow codfish here. I also enjoyed my visit to your place.

Anonymous said...

the small, personal acts are all we can do. And, I choose to believe that it matters.

Great post.

~bluepoppy

Patry Francis said...

Elizabeth: Thank you for all the small personal acts you do that inspire me from so far away.

Kerstin said...

I light a few candles (four tealights in a wooden block) in my window almost every night anyway, but last night they took on a special meaning, thank you for that.

Patry Francis said...

kerstin: Next time I'm in Northampton, I'll look for your tea lights.

paris parfait said...

I didn't see your post about the candle until tonight (Sept. 12) but what a great idea. I've often lit candles in times like this and as so many people in the world are suffering, your candle idea seems like a good one for anytime.

LoriSchuster said...

I was getting ready for my daughter's sweet 16 party and there was someone there doing remodeling on the house...we obviously couldn't work and were glued to the television. Every time I have run into him since we have had this sort of bond--a mutual understanding that came from the fear and uncertainty and horror of the moment. You are right...it put everything into perspective. great post.

Vickie said...

In January, 2002, I wrote a poem about a firefighter that survived that fateful day. Just this past week, I leaned how factual that poem actually is...

http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/vlk234/poetry_table1/Poetry_3Page56.html

Vickie said...

the link got cut off, I apologize

http://www.angelfire.com/poetry/vlk234/poetry_table1/Poetry_3Page56.html

I have missed you...

Patry Francis said...

paris: Unfortunately, you're right. There's always suffering. There's always a need for light.

lori: It's amazing the bonds that were formed that day--especially between strangers. Yours is a beautiful story.

Vickie! I've missed your presence here, too.

Patry Francis said...

p.s. to Vickie: I tried to follow your link, but Angelfire wouldn't let me in.

Edie said...

there are no small, insignificant acts.

Patry Francis said...

edie: that's a profound statement--and a true one.

Vickie said...

I couldn't find your email address.

Survived September



1/21/02

I survived September--
just barely.

Ground zero had been a force
to be reckoned with.
It was not just my job to be there--
I needed to be there.
The pull to help, and hope,
were so strong--
we, all of us, plodded on
much like weary soldiers at war.

Now that the scars have faded,
unnoticeably,
I, myself, have paid high prices.
The memories of this time will fade.
The heartbreak will heal.
I may not.
My lungs absorbed the toxins
of that hell quite readily.
Now, I labor to breathe.

I don't necessarily blame NYC
nor do I belittle the terrorists--
at least, not much--

I'm thankful to have survived.

Patry Francis said...

vickie: Just saw this! (Sometimes I don't check back for comments on my old posts.) What a powerful poem; thank you so much for sharing it here.

Vickie said...

Recently, we learned that 70% of the firefighters who worked ground zero have serious respiratory illnesses. I don't profess any soothsaying abilities, but dang...

Patry Francis said...

Vickie: And I remember all the assurances that it was safe to work in the area after the event...The price these men have paid and continue to pay for their bravery and commitment
is astounding.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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