The Heart of The Matter

I move through life via song lyrics, in the same way others process through movie quotes, or books or…well, I don’t know, original ideas? 😉  I rarely remember the first time I hear a song, but so often songs and events or songs and people become connected in my head. One doesn’t have to have anything to do with the other for the connection to take place either…. (although dancing with my husband on our wedding day might make a song get linked…)

Some songs have many layers to them, and they take their place in the pathways through my brain for different reasons than may have been indicated by the lyricist.

Sometimes it’s simply a turn of phrase that connects with me, sometimes it may be the overall tone or theme of the arrangement that strikes a chord.

Now, again, tomorrow— we have to acknowledge another year has gone by, and what have we learned? Are we closer to or farther from our desires: our belief in peace and love and happiness? And forgiveness?  I can’t remember a month ramping up to the anniversary of September 11 that has been so hate-filled, so divisive.

People say if we let an Islamic community center near ground zero go ahead, we are letting “them” win. Not, not, not! “We” are winning, by showing that our constitution, our religious freedom is alive and well, and that “they” can’t take that freedom away from us so easily. If we deny them the ability to worship/gather (swim, play basketball), we are no better than “they” are. Why is that hard to understand?

I watched those towers fall, real time– too close– even across a harbor. I saw, smelled, tasted, heard, felt them fall. (I’m sorry, saw one fall. I turned my back just before the second fell, because I couldn’t process the number of people dying, and as soon as my back was turned…)  I went to a funeral on a cold misty morning, I watched hearses, I watched cranes, I walked the canyons, I saw the smoke from my kitchen window. I still think they should build the community center.

And I think that anyone who will call themselves Christian and yet thinks that burning another religions holy book is OK is totally missing the point. And after hearing from our military leaders that it is a dangerous thing to do, I think that not only are they foolish but they are wishing ill upon our soldiers, and our civilians, and they are not defending any religion I am interested in being a part of.

Last night, I tried to verbalize a feeling—-I wondered if maybe those who were survivors of 9-11 (either in actually having been and survived, or having lost close family) as opposed to the rest of the country, to whom this may be something closer to an exercise in patriotism, a civics lesson pulled out at the beginning of every school year—I wondered if maybe the survivors hadn’t moved not- ‘on’- but moved forward with the cards that they have been dealt.

They have continued to marry, bear and raise children, and live  their lives with the hole that their family member(s) left. But possibly, aren’t those holes slowly cushioned by layers of life? When the rest of the USA pulls out their 9-11 box, full of horrorific memory, opening it anew each year, is their hole possibly harder, deeper and less capable of dealing with, than if you stare at the hole every day, if you learn to live with the hole?

It’s a difficult thing to state, to get out onto the screen the way I am thinking it. But, if you had to go through the five steps of grief– (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance)– if you had to pack up your loved ones personal belongings, explain to your children why mommy isn’t coming home, walk your daughter down the aisle in her fathers stead, might nine years of the day-to-day-to-day-ness of it not caused you to … well, reach acceptance? Forgiveness?  (I don’t know, and I don’t presume to minimize anyone’s experience)

It makes me fear for our sanity, fear for our future, that people who claim to be so sensible, and Christian, and patriotic are becoming so incomprehensibly vile. Bad, non-practicing Catholic that I am, I recall this overarching theme in the religious training of my youth. LOVE ONE ANOTHER. I must have been mistaken.

My original September 11 2001 thoughts. I feel compelled to pull out the scrapbook I made every year, and I cry, every year.

Some songs that are poignant and remind me of that September Morn:

Let It Be (The Beatles)

When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.
And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.
Let it be, let it be, …..
And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be, …..

The Living Years ( Mike and the Mechanics)

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door
I know that I’m a prisoner
To all my Father held so dear
I know that I’m a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years….
Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got
You say you just don’t see it
He says it’s perfect sense
You just can’t get agreement
In this present tense
We all talk a different language
Talking in defense
Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear…….

Fragile  (Sting)

If blood will flow when flesh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrow’s rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetime’s argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are
On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star….

New York Minute  (Don Henley)

Harry got up, dressed all in black
Went down to the station, and he never came back….
In a New York minute, everything can change
In a New York minute, things can get pretty strange
In a New York minute, everything can change
In a New York minute….
Lying here in the darkness, I hear the sirens wail
Somebody going to emergency, somebody’s going to jail
You find somebody to love in this world, you better hang on tooth and nail
The wolf is always at the door
And in these days, darkness falls early
And people rush home to the ones they love
You’d better take a fool’s advice and take care of your own…..

Under the Bridge (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a partner
Sometimes I feel like my only friend
Is the city I live in, the city of angels
Lonely as I am, together we cry
I drive on her streets ’cause she’s my companion
I walk through her hills ’cause she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds and she kisses the windy
Well, I never worry, now that is a lie
I don’t ever wanna feel like I did that day
But take me to the place I love, take me all the way…..

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (Les Miserables)

There’s a grief that can’t be spoken.
There’s a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone.
Here they talked of revolution.
Here it was they lit the flame.
Here they sang about `tomorrow’
And tomorrow never came.
From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing….

The Heart of the Matter (Don Henley)

I got the call today, I didn’t wanna hear
But I knew that it would come…
The more I know, the less I understand
All the things I thought I knew, I’m learning again
I’ve been tryin’ to get down to the heart of the matter
But my will gets weak
And my thoughts seem to scatter
But I think it’s about forgiveness
Forgiveness
Even if, even if you don’t love me anymore….
These times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
…People filled with rage
We all need a little tenderness
How can love survive in such a graceless age….

Seasons of Love (Rent)

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love?
How about love? Measure in love
Seasons of love
Seasons of love
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?
In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died
It’s time now to sing out
Tho’ the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love
(Oh you got to, got to)
Remember the love
(Remember the love)
Seasons of love
(Measure measure you life in love)
Seasons of love
Seasons of love

((Hugs)) to you, Kerin. Jessica. Arlie and Pokey. Everyone. ((Hugs)).

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2 thoughts on “The Heart of The Matter

  1. I agree with a lot of what you say but cannot with all of it. Love…the God kind of love…does not ignore or turn it’s back on evil but confronts it. Love is not some warm swarmy feeling that ignores justice but it’s also not an eye for an eye type of mentality like what is represented in the Muslim faith. At the same time the correct action is not burning Qurans to make public statements that bring us down to their level of burning Bibles (as they have done many times). The dangers of Mohammedism are real and not imagined. If the Muslims have their way this country will no longer exist as we know it. Women will be repressed and oppressed. Most freedoms we currently enjoy will be gone. Religous freedom especially will not be tolderated. Remember that it was “Christian” principles that built this country and Christian principles that give Muslims the right to worship in this country but if they ever gain control no such freedoms will exist for Christians, Hindus, Jews or Buddhists. That is a promise! You want to see the future of the United States? Look to Europe because that is our destiny unless we stop and draw the line in the sand. I support the Muslims rights to worship but I have to draw the line when those rights impose on my own rights to worship as I please. We may be able to “move on” and forgive what happened on 9/11 but I hope we will never forget and maybe that will be enough to preserve us from the tryanny of Jihad when it comes. Because come it will and 9/11 will seem insignificant in comparison. Love can and will triumph over evil but not by turning a blind eye or looking the other way.

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