Yesterday was intense.
New York Magazine put up the things we said on Echo on 9/11. It begins with my post about the first plane crashing into the WTC. Reading that was how I began my day.
Then I went downtown and spent about 8 hours down at St. Paul’s Chapel. Saw a lot of old friends, not a single picture came out well, unfortunately. I stayed for the Interfaith Memorial Service, which was emotional and well done on so many levels. They had people from Buddhism, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh (and more) faiths reading and speaking. I loved the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr. so much I want to join his church even though I don’t believe in God! I also loved the Buddhist, (not sure of her name) one of the Rabbi’s (Joseph Potasnik) and Mr. Amardeep Singh, one of the Sikhs. I grabbed him afterwards to ask him about the text he read. I’ve only been able to find a piece of it, but just from this one piece I think you can get how amazing it was:
As out of a single fire,
Millions of spark arise;
So from God’s form emerge all creation,
Animate and inanimate.
(From the Akal Ustat, which is from the Dasam Granth.)
Barbara brought a copy of one of our favorite letters that came to the Chapel. It’s from a young girl named Claudia. I left out her last name for privacy sake, but here is the letter.
There are many deaths that I can die. Cancer, heart attack, AIDS, hepatitus, sickle cell anemia, Leukemia, natural causes, choking, being strangled, shot or hanged, I could get the death penilty, or rabies or a snake bite, or a wild animal could attack me. I could get run over by a car, be in a car crash, fall, slip, get a concussion, get small pox or be stabbed, cracking my skull, get poisoned, heart disease, get stung by too many bees, and many, many, many more. But I know I will never, ever, die in a fire, because people like you great people would go into flames to save an ordinary person like me, and that’s what makes you so great, courageous, brave, terrific, wonderful, special people.
Finally, I got a little obsessed photographing the Towers of Light as I walked home. The first shot is right at the Trade Center. The last was once I hit the Village, where I live. It was just so beautiful.