Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mercury Retrograde

Remembering the past.

Written September, 2001. First published @ SXSW Award Winner for Best Gurl website,, in response to the terrorist attacks.


The first reports of looting have come in since the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York. As horrific as that seems, is as predictable as it can get. After all, a New Yorkers’ reputation is all about being a brooding bad-ass criminal that is really a loner at heart. It is part of the stereotype. So, why should this be so shocking? Life goes on they tell us — and so it has.

Of course, the report of looting, set in such a grim backdrop of carnage, is crass. However, it magnifies the questions we must respond to. It is not just asking ourselves about life going on — that is a given. The question we must ask ourselves now is, how do we want life to go on? What is the quality and level of respect we want to live among? Are we capable of really learning from our past? As this country comes back to a semblance of normalcy, what will it bring? Will it only take a few more days, or weeks, for this fabrication of unity to begin to crack? Do we let our apathy come back with the TV stations’ scheduling, or is this redemption going to revolutionize our minds?

As we all have seen in the last few days, love has out poured throughout much of the world. Throughout the streets of New York — a city famed for its cutthroat environment — strangers are hugging one another; people of all colors are praying together; volunteers and donated supplies are superfluous. Around this nation, the same spirit of unity has driven people to sit on the sides of random highways, waving to strangers in their cars and of little children selling their toy collections to help others in need. It has been an awe-striking phenomenon that has been infectious throughout the nation. No matter what economical class, political allegiance, religious clique, etc. that one belongs, lines that divide have gone asunder. The masses have found a connection through grief. We’ve been given a reminder that we are one nation — however dysfunctional — but like most dysfunctional family, when the madness strikes, we stick through the thick together.

Yes, despite these random reports of obscene selfishness coming in, we should not feel the need to be diverted by the jadedness, allowing it to infest our minds. We need to react, remembering all the kindness and love that has been brought to the surface, and seal those bitter cracks. The statistics are in; ignorance is the minority. There are more of us, than there is of it, and let that serve as our common bond. Let’s not make this sense of togetherness a temporary reaction, but a rediscovered instinct. The alarm clock has gone off, and accepting that and treating everyone as an enemy, if you can’t get your way, is no longer acceptable. It is time to go deeper into your thoughts and emotions, and think about real priorities of what life is about; understand it isn’t always about you. Life includes every single living being in this world. It is about everyone caring, respecting, sharing, having patience, etc., for one and all. These are the pillars of a peaceful society.

We all share this life together, and these events have given us the taste of how powerful it can be to live in a positive alliance. September 11, 2001 marked a day when a renaissance of humanity was woken. We have witnessed the effects of ignorance at its most unimaginably depraved level, and have proved we won’t allow it. Know now that the way we were living before, in all the apathy and arrogant bitterness, was wrong and unnecessarily counterproductive. Know now that it is horrific to be brought together at this price — a price that should forever serve as our reference point for the mistakes we all committed before. Know now we should no longer take for granted the choices and the quality found in how we choose to exist, and how giving we all can be. Know now we must destroy the arrogance and ignorance we allow to exist because of indifference. Know now we need to refuse to be engulfed in, and act out, the frustrated anger we all can get caught in because of our egos. Know now we need to continue to embrace what we each can do, to truly achieve peace, love and happiness — and all the slogans of positivity. Understanding we are all together is taking the first step; living with it, appreciating it and embracing it, is the next. Know now that we should no longer think an eye for an eye, and call it a day. In these days, we have seen too much, suffered too much and proven too much strength to want to revert.

So, as this tragedy’s day will move farther down the time line of our history, what will our personal actions be? With massive, and useless carnage occurring throughout many generations of our existence — what can we gain from our generations’ calling? We have learned so far, history has had two effects — it teaches or it taints; leaving us at the daunting decision to let this moment be a defining one, or just another tear-jerking twist in the human archives. It is each our personal responsibility to either uphold the knowledge we have been given and retain this appreciation for life as part of our daily existence or not. Which will you choose?