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« Oh yeah, him | Main | Converge video »

Sep 11, 2006

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G/

NYC is eeriely quiet and beatifully radiant today as it has been every 9/11 since the first day of madness.

Sad is my usual overwhelming emotion when I open up this day in my mind's eye (or when it gets opened by others), but this past week all I've really felt has been ANGER. And today, lots of IMPATIENCE with the few strangers I've had to interact with in some manner.

Thanks, Ed, as your comforting words allow me (others?) to remember we are not alone, which is not something I always remember in moments when my brain switches to irrational mode.

Your best will be given to LaChanze this afternoon, and hopefully Jennifer, et al.

jw

"Let me be clear that I have not become morbid or gloomy or obsessed."

But perhaps you've become grounded in a different way. Little things seem less important. Connections feel more urgent.

I've always believed that people do not change, not deeply, not profoundly, without some huge action happening. This huge action changed us all.

Some more than others.

Britt Whitmire

It is very easy for people like me (who lost no family or friends on 9/11) to go on with our lives and pause a few times a year to think about what happened that day. To the families, it is still going on and it hurts with every birthday, graduation, anniversary, or family gathering. I know the victims would want us all to go and live full, happy lives, but the map to that destination can't be found. Sometimes you have to pause along the road until your will and your mind will let you take another step. That's okay, too.

The silliest thing: I got my dog as a result of 9/11. I looked around in the fall of '01 and challenged myself to open my heart and I adopted this little Pit Bull. She has seen me through some hard times (divorce, unemployment) and she has always been my best friend. I'd like to think that the spirit of some of those good people we lost are in my little dog and they're lifting me up through her.

Ed, maybe the next time you have a good glass of wine, or enjoy a good steak, or see a particularly beautiful sunset in Paris, you can enjoy it that much more, knowing that you are taking it in for yourself and your lost friends. Life's sweetness made sweeter.

G/

"Little things seem less important" **--jw (above)

Wow. That is what I crave to believe again. But today, and most day, I am reminded by how IMPORTANT the little decisions were five years again in determining which of my friends are alive and which were murdered. (The usuual, "Who went to work early/late for an unknown reason?...Who took that day off/decided to catch an earlier/later plane", etc..).

I HOPE to get back to the point of view that the little things aren't really all that matters one day, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. One day, not this year, however.

Peace.

jw

I meant little irritants. Little things that used to bother me, mean even less now. And you're right, little things that SHOULD be important may get the attention they deserve.

chip atkinson

Ed- I have yet to lose a parent or sibling or close friend. But everytime I hear of folks who have, I'm flooded with gratefullness for the relationships I hold dear.

At the same time, I am grateful that you had such close friends and family. It is fitting for you to mourn, because your loss is great. It is also fitting to recognize your loss would be far less painful had you not loved and been loved so well.

Ed Cone

Thanks, Chip, that's a very nice and comforting thought.

Here's the eulogy I gave for Calvin, if anyone wants to know a bit more about him.

David Boyd

That's a beautiful eulogy, Ed. Maybe my favorite thing I've ever read by you.

Ed Cone

I just recieved an email that goes to the heart of my purposes in writing this column and its precursors:

Seeing the planes hit the towers seemed more like a video game than anything real to me. Your columns changed that by making the impact of that day very real for me.

I do not completely understand the overwhelming sense of sadness I feel over the loss of your friends...It may seem strange to thank you for inducing my sadness, but sharing such a personal story has touched me deeply in a way that feels necessary to understand 9/11 a little better. So thank you for sharing such a personal story.

Thank you. It happened to all of us.

beth

Ed, I really enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing, it's very powerful stuff.

Samuel Spagnola

Ed, the part about the airline clerk was incredibly moving. Thank you for sharing this story.

Steve T.

A friend of mine had an experience similar to that with the airline clerk. A cousin-in-law he loved dearly was an investment lawyer in Manhattan, working for a firm that had recently moved its offices, but my friend didn't know where they'd moved to. So on 9/12 he called NYC directory assistance and gave the firm's name. A typically robotic (but human) voice read out the number, and he asked for the address. The operator started a standard spiel about being able to find it in his directory without being charged a fee, and my friend lost it, yelling into the phone, "Just tell me if they're anywhere near the World Trade Center!!!!"

The professional robotic tone of voice disappeared instantly, and the operator gave him the address -- safely uptown -- and added very quietly, "Whoever they are, they're allright."

Anton Zuiker

Thank you, Ed, for your beautiful, human sincerity.

Nathan Kunkel

Thanks for opening your heart - you've got a lovely way with words, and reading your search for balance and sense in the aftermath of a non-sensical event has been moving. I obviously didn't have the same close ties to Calvin and Doug as you did during our years at Haverford, but in my own way they have also been my primary connection to the profoundity and sadness of 9/11. Finality is how you see it, and your take on it is as good as any.


I wish you well, Ed Cone.

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