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11/9/01 ... a post about 9/11

i recall vividly the moment i heard about the crash. 08:10 - it was a wednesday morning - we were driving under a bridge, on the perimeter highway - lupin driving me home after a 12 hour nite shift (my 2nd nite - my 2nd 12 hr shift in as many days). i did not sleep that day. we stared at the telly screen, dumbfounded. a colleague at work worried that his mother - who lived and worked in NYC - did not survive the crash. he had no news of his mother for a few days. each of those days we worked together, the anguish swirled in him. things turned out ok for that family ... but i remember the anguish of those early days.

image: flickr creative commons

for me, the anguish of that day swells, with each passing year. with each passing year, life tumbles past us, the way leaves glide upon gentle breezes. and moments pass. moments from which death has banished those dearly departed. they say time heals all wounds, but with time, the wound gapes ever wider.it feels as though, i think, with each year that passes, the dearly departed shrink further and further from our grasp. from our mind's grasp.

when do we forget the sound of their voice? the way touching them made us feel? when do their images start to fade in our minds? and ... we ask the question ... why? for eternity -- WHY? each joyful moment, forever after, has a bittersweet taste. can joy without our dearly departed truly feel like joy? or does it feel plastic and contrived? like, sort of surreal. for us - survivors left behind - a tomorrow exists. can we live with that?

stunning photographs captured horrorific moments - remember these?

and the OUTRAGE

they caused?

and how soon ... we didn't see them anymore?

do you ever ask yourself, why? why the desperate urge to sanitize these deaths? considering the extremely graphic and disturbing images seen at the liberation of the concetration camps after WW2, why did these pictures trigger such outrage? 11/9 IS. irrevocably. do we want to remember it? or are we going to have dinner with that big white elephant on the dining room table? i, for one, don't care to dine with the big white elephant. been there, done that. i choose to live in brutal reality. death = life. the value of life lies in the eternity of death. (does that sound sort of too surreal, maybe?)

i had the wonderful privilege of seeing the north american premiere of this movie: the falling man. it traces the origin of the photo, from the photographer thru to the journalists who sought to identify the 'falling man.' but, more interesting that this, the movie speaks to the whole denial of death, despite the massive loss of life on 11/9.

its true - for the most part, we only wanted to see images of the rescue workers sifting thru the rubble. we desperately wanted to turn our heads away from the terror and ugliness and such a death. why? are not those who made a choice and resolved to plummet to their death ... are not those people victims just the same as those who did not make that choice? do we honour their memory by denying the way they died? i think not.

i ask myself. what would i do? what would you do? would you make a phone call? who would you call? what would you say? what would course thru my mind moments before such a horrific death? we cannot begin to imagine having to make such a choice. death by fire or death by sudden deceleration? no escape. only escape to death. so -- what of the falling man photo? when i look at it, i am stunned by the stark contrasts that converge there: the bright sun and a solitary, free falling figure, almost perfectly aligned with the vertical axis of the tower. and then reality - a person, falling to his death. and death, DEATH.

that feeling you have? that uncomfortable feeling?
its called humility
... because ...
death is a most humbling experience.

what do you see in the falling man photo?

what do you see, in all this?

Beautiful post! You find the exact right metaphor and adjective...very hard to do. I know, I've tried! I am very morbid and always think about death. It's always hard for me to say goodbye to anyone because I'm afraid I will never see them again. If someone leaves I always tell them to drive careful...as though the words are some kind of talisman that will protect them. I have to tell my family that I love them when they leave bacause I am afraid that I will never see them again. And why? No-one has died. But I have had so many people ripped out of my life because of family arguments. I think maybe that is why. Though I have the comfort of knowing that they are not dead, I still have had everything come to a halt, this path closed, no sense of continuity and having to go on without them. Even to this day, I have a hard time working things out because I never saw anyone work things out when I was young. A lot of americans complained about the news showing these pictures over and over. Yes, they did anesthisize it. And I think that our countries attitude towards the whole thing is somehow a way to deny death too. As though GB can stop it. I'm not trying to say that no action should be taken, but the action seems to be one in which people have taken as a defense against their feelings of insecurity rather than a thoughtful one. They say the world changed that day, but I don't know if it changed. I think that on that day the nature of the world became something that we could no longer hide from. (This is BBE's)

hi behind blue eyes ...

wow. you hit it on the head. i, too, wonder, when i part from people, if i will see them/hear from them again. i guess that is me being all to aware of how short life is, how suddenly can change, and of how small and insignficant we all are in the grand scheme of things. i guess this fixation with death, people departing comes from seeing soooo much of it inour professional lives?

personally, i have suffered loss. my sister (read post here about her) was killed in a car accident 12 years ago. i did not get a chance to say goodbye. my last words to here were angry.

and, well, then i/we suffered the greatest loss anyone can suffer. losing a child is worse than losing oneself. i think, because, so much of oneself is in that child.

and hope ... hope went out the door with him. those who have been reading my blog for a while have heard i lost a son. no doubt you're all curious. no matter what you think, you can not imagine. a post about him is rattling around in my head and heart.

about family dissention - sometimes the worse kind of lose, blue eyes, is the ones where the loved one has not left the earth. you know what i mean?

hiding. that's what the world does. cowardly hide. no one wants to hear about death. i mean, really hear about it. and think about it. you're right -- its all DENY DENY DENY. we, who mourn, get told, move on, don't dwell on it. trite. and STUPID words, if ever such were spoken!

i think nothing has changed. the world is still as thick-headed and obtuse as ever about death and life. if more people lived their lives, i mean daily, knowing that the physical possibility does exist they or their loves ones could die at any second ... i think this world would be sooooo different.

life is still as value-less as it was 5 years ago. i think we have not learned a fucking blessed thing.

how truly sad.

i must say ... it is 14:20 here. and this post has been up for a few days already. the fact that everyone else has deliberately avoided this post is VERY TELLING INDEED.

if you choose not to acknowledge death, does that mean it does not exist?

death = life. death ... is ... what ... gives ... any ... of ... this ... a point!

GET YOUR HEADS OUTTA YOUR ASSES and smell the fucking coffee, folks!


I have always been accused of mulling over things to much. Apparently people think that this is a waste of time, but to me it is a necessity. People seem to value a person of action, a person who goes out and gets things done and doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about the things I think about. They call what I do wallowing in self-pity, wasting time etc. I think there is a need for all kinds of people in this world. I used to buy into all that crap and think that there really was something wrong with the way I was. But how can there be something wrong with how I was born? I must have been meant to be this way if I was born this way.

I read a book once. I think it was called On the Psychology of Woman. It was written by a Jungian Therapist. She spoke of a woman called the Medial woman. She described her as a woman who lived in the world of the subconscious. She can be very ineffective and well.....witchy! She notices things going on around her that haven't come to the conscious mind of others yet. She can even appear to by psychic to others who aren't in touch with what she is. They say that she can be a wonderful friend, mate, mother but she can be disastrous if she doesn't give other people the chance to see things in their own time. She can make people very uncomfortable talking about things that no-one wants to talk about. I have also read about her in a book called Goddesses in Every Woman. In that book they called her Persephone. Persephone was a goddess in Greek mythology who spent half the time in the underworld and half the time above ground.
She is represented by the High priestess of the tarot cards in her less developed form. In this form she has all of her visions but is unable to relate them to anyone else. When you draw this card it means that you are supposed to examine your subconscious motives. She is also represented by the Star which is her more developed aspect. The Star shows a naked woman with one foot on land and the other in water. She is holding an urn and pouring the water. She spreads light and her creativity is being released. I guess it is what the medial woman is supposed to strive to be.
Well, she has her place too. And it is impossible to develop spiritually if you don't go inside sometimes. Without her, imagine what a horrible world this would be....worse than it already is. But she is made ridiculous by society, ignored and discounted.
People are afraid of her for a lot of reasons. Some people don't like to think, some people think that if they lived in this world they wouldn't be effective I suppose. But that's all right...we'll keep being scary won't we!

Oh, I forgot to say though I suppose you guessed. That was BBE's.

thanx blue, i had heard of persephone but did not know the story of the medial woman. i feel like that woman mostly. seeing things than no one else does. and forgetting that most of those around me are blinded to those visions. and then the doubts. do i really see? or am i just a lune, like everyone thinks?

wow. i cannot believe how similarly we think.



Your words have brought those tears back.... The ones I tried so hard to swallow the other day.

I remember these pictures you have shared. I also remember the outcry they created. Why did so many people think it was too much?

Thank you for your eloquence. I can't even begin to to say how much your piece moves me.


wistful ... i read your 9/11 post. it moved me ... i cannot imagine being right near the epicentre of such a disaster. thx for your kind words.

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its all about ME

  • i'm roxanne, and this is velvet, the voice inside my head. and this -- this is her blog.
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    velvet rants, rages, throws the occasional hissy fit, launches the odd venomous tirade, and intellectually contemplates all the stuff of life, love, and soul

    its depressing, and enraging because the world burns and crumbles before our eyes. yet we sleep.

    we sleep. apathy, greed, power sit atop our eyelids like lead weights

    so, welcome to my world.

    i aim to pry your eyes open, to pry your mind open, to get you thinking outside the box, to shock you even.

    i ask the questions most choose to ignore. i think the thoughts most consider unthinkable. i'm alive. i'm awake. are you?

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  • fury wrapped in a daffodil, confused, undecided, wild child, indigo child, impatient, insomniac, rebellious, outspoken, artistic, restless, bored with routine, i love change, afraid of commitment, i work to live - not live to work, claustrophobic, perfectionist, odd and maybe downright wierd, anxious and maybe a l'il (ok, a lot) neurotic, dichotomous, a teensy bit vitrolic, prone to nastiness, a maverick and a cynic, highly intuitive, sensual, erotic, intense, spiritual -- NOT religious, a bitch, a wordsmith, poet, storyteller, addict, mother, caregiver, dog lover, voracious reader, Mac person, Coke drinker, cannibis appreciator, clean freak, prone to hissy fits, attitude - i got one, fav. colour: red, perfume: estee lauder pleasures exotic, voluptuous, afraid of falling asleep, afraid of the dark, hate being touched, still get flashbacks - PTSD, nite hawk, into fetishes, got a sadomasochistic streak in me
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methuselah lives here

    i have several poetry blogs on the 'net. essentially these contain the same stuff, just presented in differing formats. this methuselah just likes digging around in more than one corpse at a time!

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      afghan hound

      yes to madness





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    velvet poetry

      bell jar dreams

      you held me in your arms,
      my trembling alabaster fruit
      and savagely,
      you trampled me, underfoot
      as master of my shattered freedom
      you - the twisted and beautiful lord
      who sealed me in a windowless bell jar
      with anguish and solitude,
      as my only companions

      captor! my demented master!
      my withered soul screams for you
      it howls for the soothing barbs,
      hidden, in your voice
      and your frail, orgasmic vulnerability
      my withered soul screams your name,
      raging delicately,
      for the gaping hollows of my existence,
      which melted into yours:
      dessicated dreams,
      vanquished innocence

      this sick hunger in my heart for you -
      will it ever ebb?

      copyright ROXI G 2006

      your grace grotesquely crumbles

      your grace crumbled
      into grotesque flakes
      as your fingertips slashed
      my tender silken face
      with rage and vengence,
      that drench my frail child-spirit

      steeped in self-loathing,
      you infected me -
      my gauzy soul
      on your poisoned barbs
      of hatred and lusty greed

      once, i loved you -
      worshipped you, adored you
      and darkness
      eviscerated my heart
      as i watched this adoration stream past
      your inert, stoney heart

      my trembling eyes splinter
      into a thousand tears
      when i look upon your face -
      my reflection - in the looking glass
      you, who deserted my child-trust -
      remain, achingly, ever present

      this dark riverbed of adoration
      that flowed in my viscera for you
      has dried up; my heart --
      which once glistened sublimely inside yours,
      now lies in eternal anguish:
      dessicated, petrified, searingly denuded

      your grace crumbles
      into grotesque flakes
      of grief, rage and greed,
      soaked in the brine of remorse
      you beg, like i did, for a morsel of mercy
      but -- i will STARVE you of forgiveness

      copyright ROXI G 2006


        "there's no way around grief and loss: you can dodge it all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out on the other side. the world you find there will never be the same as the world you left." (johnny cash)

        "i wore black because i liked it. i still do, and wearing it still means something to me. its still my symbol of rebellion - against a stagnant status quo, against our hypocritical houses of god, against people whose minds are closed to others' ideas." (johnny cash)

      poetry masters

        if only you would touch my heart
        if only you were to put your mouth
        to my heart
        if only you were to put your tongue
        like a red arrow
        there where my dusty heart is beating,
        if you were to blow on my heart
        near the sea, weeping,
        it would make a dark noise,
        like the drowsy sound of train wheels
        like the indecision of waters,
        like autumn in full leaf
        like blood,
        with a noise of damp flames
        burning the sky,
        with a sound like dreams
        or branches or the rain,
        or foghorns in some dismal port,
        if you were to blow on my heart
        near the sea, likea white ghost,
        in the spume of the wave,
        in the middle of the wind
        like a ghost unleashed,
        at the seashore, weeping.

        ... Pablo Neruda, from 'Bararole'

        By a route obscure and lonely,
        Haunted by ill angels only,
        Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
        On a black thrones reigns upright,
        i have reached these lands but newly
        From an ultimate dim Thule -
        From a wild wierd clime that lieth, sublime,
        Out of SPACE - out of TIME.

        ... Edgar Allan Poe, from 'Dream-Land'

      anais nin

        "and the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

        “i do not like to be just one anais, whole, contained. as soon as someone defines me. i do as june does; i seek escape from the confinements of definition.”

        “i speak of relief, perhaps when i write; but it is also an engraving of pain, a tatooing of myself.”

        “we are like sculptors, constantly carving out of others the image we long for, need, love or desire, often against reality, against their benefit, and always, in the end, a disappointment, because it does not fit them.”

        “life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. this is a kind of death.”