Kahlil Gibran wrote: “The deeper that sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?”
I don’t know why, but that quote stuck out when I was perusing several quote databases this morning. I’ve never read all of any of his works, but what I did read I liked. Perhaps it’s most fitting for today’s post …
This morning I found myself having to explain to Jessie why today we’re wearing red, white, and blue; why we have red, white, and blue ribbons in our hair; why everyone’s driving with their lights on; why all flags are at half-staff — the significance of it all. It’s easy for me to forget that she had just turned 4 when it happened.
She asked me if it was Independence Day, then corrected herself saying that was in July, and asked me what holiday it was. I told her that it’s not a holiday, but the anniversary of an important and very somber event in our nation’s recent history. I explained that 5 years ago terrorists hijacked American airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York, into the Pentagon in Virginia, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
She of course then wanted to know why someone would want to do that … I had no answer. How could I explain it? It barely makes any sense to me, even now.
She knew that talking about it upset me, but was curious. (Not that I minded explaining, mind you.) She saw me crying last night because I ran across one of the many programs replaying some of the 9-11 audio/video recordings. I can’t stand to watch or listen to any of it for very long — it still hurts too damned much. And I’ve avoided many of the main networks for the better part of the last week for that very reason: I don’t need to be reminded of what happened. I still remember that morning. I still feel the pain and agony of watching the events that unfolded in front of my very eyes …
Wondering if friends and loved ones were still trapped inside?!
I told someone recently that hate is an emotion that I save for very few. The extremist scum who perpetrated these heinous acts and those who set these horrible things in motion, I’d say they’re deserving. Dross that should be swept up and discarded as filthy refuse, the putrescence and unwanted waste of consciousness; destroyers of life as we know it, loathsome abominations not worthy of life on this planet.
So today my wardrobe choice bore The Colors. I wore a red, white, and blue ribbon in my hair. I drove with my lights on. And I’ve tried my damnedest to pretend that it’s just like any other day — all the while praying for the families and loved ones of all who were lost today, just 5 years ago.
Perhaps I should also remember this bit attributed to the Talmud: “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”