9/11 – Reflection

Dear ones… I am on a social media break for the foreseeable future. I have found that the best way I can navigate the chaos of the times – and the polarizing noise of derision and hate – is to – become very still… and quiet – and to not meet noise with more noise.

That being said, I could not let the day pass without – honoring 9/11. A day I have written about so often in the past.

The coverage today – the political posturing – the politicians – the competing media… they share a narrative that feels so – foreign to me.

They tell a story – a version of a story – but do they know the meaning of the story they tell?

I was there.

So were you.

And we know what we know.

9/11 was the day that New York City became sacred to me.

It was tattooed into my heart – and seared into my soul.

Yes, we inhaled the smoke of death and destruction – and the worst of humanity.

We inhaled evil.

And then – a miracle happened.

We inhaled what is also true about us… a truth we sometimes forget…

In the face of unimaginable loss and pain… we inhaled – empathy… and loving kindness… and magnanimity…

We inhaled our common humanity – and found grace and courage and fortitude and goodness.

We inhaled them – and they became cellular… coursing through our veins – and embedded in our bones.

Both a wound – and a balm.

New York City became a part of our DNA… as undeniable as a fingerprint.

NYC and me.

And you.

Today has added additional meaning for me as I listen to people, politicians, the media, breathlessly talk about 9/11 and “the death of New York City” in the wake of COVID… linking the two.

They know the story – but they don’t know the meaning…

Like 9/11, COVID is not simply death and destruction… it is, once again, also what we found in response to it… empathy… and loving kindness… and magnanimity…

Both a wound and a balm.

New York City is – ultimately – us – all of us – at our best.

The Phoenix – not rising up out of the ashes – but lifted up – through force of will, through our common humanity – and grace and courage – and fortitude and goodness.




Faced with the worst.

Showing our best.

Battle scarred.

Bowed. But not broken.


Always hopeful.

New York City.