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.
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.
Bowed. But not broken.
New York City.
I AM. YOU ARE. WE ARE. MIGHTY.