Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Six Years

I read the poetry of Billy Collins the day after 9/11. I began a mural of American landmarks for an art class. I watched the strongest person I've ever known cry while listening to "God Bless the U.S.A." And yet, six years later it is the emotion that came with reading a poem by Collins that remains:

The dead are always looking down on us, they say,
while we are putting on our shoes or making a sandwich,
they are looking down through the glass-bottom boats of heaven
as they row themselves slowly through eternity.
They watch the tops of our heads moving below on earth,
and when we lie down in a field or on a couch,
drugged perhaps by the hum of a warm afternoon,
they think we are looking back at them,
which makes them lift their oars and fall silent
and wait, like parents, for us to close our eyes.
Collins' "The Dead" brought with it the emotions I'd been harboring after watching on television the second plane hit the second tower. It brought with it the realization that nothing would ever be the same again.

Now six years later we have been deceived, told repeatedly to connect the terrorist acts of 9/11 with the atrocities a dictator in Iraq forced on his own people. Six years later we have healed, yet on each anniversary remember the pain, confusion, and fear we felt that day. Six years later we are reminded of "the tragedy of things."


Nick Speth said...
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Nick Speth said...

I love Billy Collins!

You know I stopped supporting the Bush administration a long time ago, but I have to say one thing. I never once believed that Iraq had anything to do with 9/11/01. Rather, I believed that based on the changed global landscape in a post 9/11 world "we can't afford innocent until proven guilty foreign policy anymore." I was wrong about Iraq, but I was never deceived in the sense that I never believed that Iraq had anything to do with what happened 6 years ago.

Tara A. Rowe said...

Nick! Where have you been? Missed you. You like Billy Collins? I swear you're the perfect man, can't figure out what you're doing in Logan, Utah though...

The people who to this day believe there is was a direct connection between Saddam and the terrorist attacks on 9/11 baffle me. We know this isn't true, we've been told time and time again.

Something I particularly enjoyed this morning was an interview with Bernie Herik (sp?) about whether he felt Rudy Guiliani should be at the 9/11 events today because he is a presidential candidate. He very sincerely said that the Mayor was there three minutes after the first plane and left only when forced to.

It is hard to believe it has been six years. Even harder to believe what has happened in six years to our country.

Nick Speth said...

Aw shucks. Sometimes I'm baffled by the fact I'm still here. Luckily I graduate in the sping and am putting Logan behind me forever! Woo hoo!

Marjanna said...

Hi Tara,
Thanks for the poem. I love Billy Collins but hadnt' seen this poem before. Great image.

Tara A. Rowe said...

Marjanna!! I'm so happy to see you hanging around here--I absolutely love Billy Collins and it seemed to fit perfectly with the somber mood of this anniversary.