Thursday, September 22, 2011


“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” -Buddha

One of the greatest misconceptions in life is that we are somehow powerless to let go of what’s behind us. That we have to carry regret, shame, or disappointment, and that is has to dictate how today will unfold, at least on some level.

It doesn’t. At any moment, you can let go of who you’ve been and decide to be someone new–to do something differently. It won’t always be easy, but it is always a choice you can make.

You can either dwell and stay stuck, or let go and feel free. Give yourself space to fill with good feelings about the beautiful day in front of you–and the beautiful tomorrow you’re now creating.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Found on an Anonymous Blog re: 9/11

I wrote after the attacks and read it not long ago. It was pitiful. This is not. The poem is amazing but you need the preceding story to parse it.

It's hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that I am sitting here, 10 years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, writing this. It's difficult to imagine that so much time has passed. So much has happened to me personally, but also to America as a nation.

Early this week I woke and went digging through my old files, looking for the person I was all those years ago. In my search, I found a poem I'd written after the attacks, thinking all the while about a girl in my dorm who had lost both of her parents. We had all just arrived a week or so before to school -- brand new freshmen -- and it was a scary time for all of us, embracing our freedom but fearful of it at the same time. To have lost so much at such a transitory time in one's life sent shivers down my spine. I couldn't imagine what it must have been like for that girl.

I didn't know her, but I knew this: her pain, her loss -- just like that of the nation -- was immeasurable. I struggled to understand all of it, as we all did. And so I strived to organize the mess of what happened with words, lining them up neatly in a poem. Reading it now, I am brought back to that day. The words make it fresh, real. After all of these years, America's wounds are healing, but there is still an ache that, for so many, will never go away. To all those who lost someone, who suffered through the fear of that day, I dedicate my decade-old poem to you.

September in Delaware

Morning of bagels, a man shouting out
cream cheese on plain, lox on sesame
louder today because it’s harder to hear
with the television turned up.
The picture is yelling, smoky and frantic,
at us, sitting at a plastic table
smearing yellow butter on circular bread.

Outside, the grass is still summer-soft
and the sky is bright blue quiet.
No planes grumbling as they soar home,
Heavy with the weight of packages or people.
For a while, we are silent too, shocked into
forgoing our own routine takeoffs and landings.
We are grounded, feet touching soil.

I can feel it better today, grass and dirt,
fading sunburn and harsh words,
but I cannot make a connection to tell you
when all the phones keep beeping busy.
I cannot get through, and all the faces,
blurred when they pass, are smeared with
the same disconcerting isolation.

Sunlight blinds us on the walk home,
filled with bagels and juice, tired.
You speak of war, of death, of drafts
but your voice is cracking, crumbling,
breaking, fading in and out of service.
Your words float before us, and as
we walk, we bump into them, bruising.

Tomorrow the calendar will change
Mostly without us noticing and we will
regain lost connections, and get used to
morbid media, the violet vertigo of what
we come to accept as photo and memory.
Down the arm of the road to the elbow,
we will drive: a sharp, quick turn into release.

But today, my building harbors a girl,
raven-haired, who shared the shower,
the sink, the hallway for twelve days.
We are not allowed to see her, with
her swollen eyes, mystified expression,
as she is lifted out, quietly. Driven back,
I imagine, to the city still bleeding.

All her hope breaking off on the interstate
as she realizes language has stolen
the safest word, her peaceful haven: home.
Her brave house still standing, its insides
burned and blacker than what she has left behind:
single strands in the drain of a shower.

~Someone named Sharry