Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 Ten Year Tribute

In the past week we have all been hearing so much about the ten year anniversary of 9/11. Seeing the footage and hearing all of the stories of hope and despair and human courage have brought my (and likely your) emotions about the event, the people and the United States to the surface.

9/11 was the first day of my life that I truly really wholly felt proud and so lucky to be American, in a whole new way. In the days following the horrible event, I drove from Oakland, California (where I lived at the time) to Los Angeles. I don't know if many people realize how much of California is farm land. Beautiful rolling acres where garlic, tomatoes, spinach, squash and everything else you can think of are grown. Just south of the Bay Area within an hour you can start to feel the middle America associated with the mid-west. It is alive and well between the Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

As I drove that day listening to radio coverage of the aftermath, I saw American flags everywhere. There were huge banners made from bed sheets stating "We Will Never Forget" and "USA" and so on. I grew up here in the US with all of the privileges of being a citizen...which I appreciated, but never to the core like I did that day. We are lucky. We are fragile as individuals. Our country is strong and standing on the shoulders of the people who built our buildings, highways, schools, justice system and all of the infrastructure that we don't think about until we are rocked by something like 9/11.

There are a lot of tributes, big and small happening around the US and the world to commemorate all that is 9/11.

I am a candle maker. It is my favorite form of art. So tonight I am working on the first of my two Twin Tower candles. These candles are a meditation on the massive loss of human life and the deep grief felt by the loved ones of those lost. I am making them in dark colors to represent the darkness of the day, both literally and figuratively. The dark wax will be in incense fragrances to represent the ceremony of loss and healing. Within the darkness, there will be bright, bold Fall colors to represent the time of year and the bright boldness of humanity that we all saw on our televisions, and are re-living through footage as the tenth anniversary comes upon us. The fragrances of the colors will be of life. Apples ripening on the vine. Baking in the kitchen as the weather cools. Pumpkin Pie. It is just two candles, but it is my small tribute as I wish for the relief of the darkness of pain to be relieved by the flame of hope in the embers.

I wonder if everyone feels compelled to sit and take a moment to reflect like this.

I will post photos tomorrow when the Twin Tower Candle Tribute is completed, and ready to burn in memory of all that was lost on that terrible day.

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