Sunday, September 10, 2006

Five years ago tonight

...I was eight and a half months pregnant with our second child and had no idea that the world was going to stop spinning the following morning.

God rest the souls of the three thousand who, tomorrow morning, I'll stop and remember most particularly. Now that we live close enough to both NYC and DC that we can day-trip to either by car, we know people who lost friends and family that day rather than just, ourselves, feeling a kind of remote anguish at the lives - and the life - that ended. But that "remote" anguish is still a strong motivator for me: My own personal circle was unbroken by the evil of that morning, but for the first time since the Challenger disaster when I was in high school, I felt viscerally and powerfully the horror of completely unjust death. Certainly, every time I hear a story in which an innocent person dies, I'm moved and saddened - but as I curled on our sofa on 9/11/01, unconsciously mimicking the posture of the baby in my belly, and watched the towers fall on live television, I was - I was -

If I had been God, I would have been Shiva in that moment. I was wroth.

Angry. Dreadfully, impotently angry. Because I was not God.

It's been years since I've doubted the existence of God. It's been a year, perhaps, since I've doubted His motives. September: the month I was born, the month I was married, and the month in which I most often ask that question God must weary of hearing from all of us: Why?

The answer has been around since Job railed against his undeserved lot: Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? I'm not the first to recall that answer to this question, though I'm forgetting where I first read it. It's not a satisfying answer, but it's the only one we get, and then we have to go on and do something with it. In our case, in this instance, we took up not just a billy club but a rifle, and we not only went after the immediate perpetrators but the ideological instigators, and that's where we are today: trying to make a difference in the atmosphere that allows such evil to breathe. That's the side I'm on, and that's the only vengeance I claim for our side against the evil and for September's dead.

I can't blog much any more. I'm busy with my new work, and the work I do requires - to me, in any event - that I keep my personal views personal, since I now represent some small part of an organization much greater than myself. But this day can't pass uncommented.

Requiescant in pace.