Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 Ten Years On

September 11, 2001 is the worst event that has happened to the world in one day--in my lifetime. I've lived through assassinations of presidents, presidential candidates and iconic rock musicians. I've experienced the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. I can only hope that something worse isn't around the corner.

I understand that there are some things that are not sudden incidents, but take years or even decades to do their work--think of Nazis or global climate change--and those can be much more dangerous and horrible. But sudden horrors can wreak havoc on your psyche.

Ten years later, I'm doing well. I think that's what I have to do--to live my life and not be defeated by terrorism, especially since I, as an individual, can't keep terrorists out of the U.S.

The terrible images of the twin towers being attacked and falling, which I saw on TV before going to work, are permanently seared into my brain. Since then, I've had to put up with the racheted-up security measures we all endure routinely now--especially in airports. I now need a passport to visit Canada or Mexico! Every time I drive over the San Francisco Bay Bridge I look at those tall buildings and can't help but think they now seem like vulnerable targets, despite whatever security measures are being taken (that I, of course know nothing about).

I've had my own personal crises this last ten years. I lost a parent and have been unemployed--twice. I've had aches and pains now and then. But overall, it's been a time of growth for my musical and writing activities. Now that I think of it, the timing may be related. In April of 2003, I decided that there was no time to waste, both because it was my 50th birthday and because of the sense that life is precious and limited. I started playing the bass. That's an important part of my life now.

I'm glad that we're rebuilding in Manhattan--and that the new 1 World Trade Center is a fresh building. We've preserved the footprints of the towers as memorials. Their absence says it all, and the loss of thousands of innocent people resonates forever in our memories. But we are rebuilding and renewing ourselves every day. It's an antiterrorist activity.

I really hope there won't ever be another 9-11, but, of course, I can't help worrying about it sometimes. I just don't want to overdo it.

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