About 3 months prior to when that picture was taken, I had sat in that room in my bathrobe and watched the September 11, 2001 attacks unfold on our TV.
“This isn’t real,” I had said, as mighty towers crumpled and fell. “This can’t be real.”
I don’t like to…own too much of the emotion of that day. It was terrifying for everyone, but I didn’t know anyone in those towers or on those planes, and the few people I knew in those cities were safe. I didn’t have any loved ones in the military.
All I had was a baby inside me. He squirmed and turned, blissfully unaware of anything outside of my belly, as I sat and seriously wondered if this was it, if this was the end of everything. And if it wasn’t, what would happen tomorrow? Being pregnant had stirred up so much introspection of my worth as a human being and now I had to wonder, really wonder, about the worth of the world that I was forcing him into.
There’s a Bob Dylan song called “Masters of War.” It’s angry and chilling and not at all pleasant.
You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins.
I’ve felt this way toward many people, not just toward cartoonish men with dastardly terrorist networks. I’ve felt it toward presidents and governors and senators and captains of industry. When I’m particularly angry, I listen to this song and I get it out. I let the anger happen, I let it have its moment, and then I’m ready for action, whatever form that may take.
Strong emotions live inside moments. I thought it was weird to see people celebrating, but I’m not going to tell anyone how they should feel immediately following something like this. I’m not rejoicing bin Laden’s death, but I am glad that his time among us has come to an end. I heard and read a LOT of things after his demise was announced. Very little of it was constructive, but all of it was emotional. That moment is over now, though. Now we figure out where to go from here. Things felt and said yesterday are in the past and there are hopefully many tomorrows to be lived.