I'd adjusted the alarm to allow myself a good half hour to forty-five minutes of snooze tapping so that I could slowly stretch out some of the pain before I even attempted to get out of bed. I also needed that time to psyche myself up for meeting the challenge of another difficult day--hopefully with a smile on my face. No need to bring other people down, right?
I remember thinking in the shower and as I dressed how this year I was already physically worse than last year...and how, since I couldn't take less than a full load at Concordia (private school), that maybe I really should look into MSUM (public college) for next year so that I could have a lighter class load...then maybe I would feel much better and things would turn around for me.
Hobbling a little less, standing a little taller, I headed for the living room. Glancing out the window to assess the morning, I clicked on the TV so I could check the weather channel prediction before I packed up my books and decided on how many layers and which coat or jacket to wear. Remote in hand, I stood a few feet in front of the TV and waited for the screen to come on so I could punch in the weather channel.
What appeared on the screen was the picture of the first tower smoking against the blue sky. What?! The announcers were wondering what had happened. I watched and waited with the rest of the world. But then a plane disappeared into the other tower...erasing all doubt.
At that moment, I remember an almost physical sensation of this monstrous wave of black fear energy instantly radiating and spreading outward from the towers--even before they fell. It felt like the blast from an atomic bomb--knocking people backwards. My first thought was--No! I closed my eyes. Don't let this do that to you! I felt like I wanted to wrap my arms around everybody! Tell them--Don't be afraid. Please! Please! Hold onto the light! Choose the light!
This lifting sensation gradually came over me. My entire body buzzed and tingled. I stood, eyes closed--even the sounds from the TV faded away--and this core of calm took hold of me. A vision of waves of dark energy spreading across the earth like ripples on a pond increased in power as the initial fear and shock of the people gave birth to raw panic, anger, and hatred. I stood.
As I spread my arms I felt my heart open so wide it was my whole being. Waves of this love energy began to wash over me...or through me...or from me...I don't know. But suddenly I realized...I wasn't alone. It was as if I could see rays of bright lights all over the world...reaching out...almost as if we were holding hands...like this lace blanket of light covering the earth...
[I had to stop writing because just remembering this reduces me to tears...because it breaks my heart that so many people are still washed in that fear.]
Anyways, I stood in my living room like that for an hour (felt like a couple minutes). Never moved. Never felt my body. Only felt attached by energy to all those other people...radiating white light...the waves of love reaching outward. Never felt so connected to the light, to love, to humanity. And then it slowly subsided. I opened my eyes...was still holding the remote in my hand. They were replaying and replaying that scene...as they will probably do again today. I won't watch.
Horrible things happen all the time. It's not what has happened to us, but how we choose to live through it and what we take away from it that determines who we are.
I have never had an experience like that before or since. But 9-11 changed my life in an unexpectedly positive way. Our choices do matter. They do make a difference. We are not alone.
We have chosen.
We are already holding hands somewhere in that dark blanket or in the light blanket.
But we have the gift of free will.
And we can change our minds whenever we choose.