September 10, 2011

Ten years out

I remember a morning 10 years ago when the weather was beautiful. It was on the cusp of the change of seasons, when the onslaughts of August had been beaten back but the chill winds of Autumn hadn't yet begun to blow.

I was sorting through different details and trying to figure out a week's hectic schedule when I made a phone call to a friend who broke the news of major destruction in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

I looked out the window to a field where a neighbor kept donkeys who were playing in the sun and rolling in the grass. I was struck by the contrast between that idyllic rural scene and the death and devastation that had just happened. And I wondered about what was to come.

There's been a lot of water under that bridge since then and a lot of twists and turns--many of them wrong turns. It's always tempting to wonder what if this or that had gone down differently, if different choices would have been made in the wake of the attacks. Or how different things might have been if they would have been foiled. Too bad that history doesn't give us the chance to rewind and try again.

You can't unring a bell, as Dylan sang. But you can control which bells to ring or leave unringed as we move ahead.

1 comment:

Hollowdweller said...


I was at home getting ready to go to work.

My friend Paul who was living in the cabin on my place called me and said a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

We were speculating about whether it was an accident or terrorisim when the other one hit.

"Surely got to be terrorisim, I said, but makes no sense. Why the World Trade Center??? Why not something like the Pentagon???"

A few minutes later Paul called me back and said "don't suggest any other targets, you won't believe this...."