9.11.2009

Take a quiet moment

What a week! Right-wing idiocy out the ying-yang!

Two solid and meaningful addresses by our president – from kindergarten to Congress – and in “quiet desperation” all the right-wing can do is criticize. I’m a tender-hearted person, and all I can feel is pity for they are being used.

All complaints, no solutions.

But, hey, it’s Friday, so let’s lighten up.

***

That was how I began the TGIF fluff piece I had written for today. Then, I remembered the date.

Perhaps that date – September 11, 2001 – was the last day we all pulled together as Americans.

Suddenly, like some long ago Movietone newsreel, images began to move through my mind.

That second plane hitting the second tower and our collective realization at that moment that something was unfolding – something many of us had not experienced in our lifetime.

More images. Captives sitting in chairs while masked heathens threatened to behead them. Carnage from car bombs.

Nancy Reagan touching her husband’s coffin.

Post-apocalyptic images in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. A black worker describing how he had to rake bodies away from one of New Orleans’ pumps so it could remove water from the city’s flooded streets. CNN’s Anderson Cooper telling Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu to can the crap as she praised officials, because he had just seen rats eating the body of an old lady on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Horror drawn along the lines of race and poverty.

Disgusting photos from a place called Abu Ghraib.

Still, the images stream by. The chilling video of the poor sick mind behind the massacre at Virginia Tech.

Soon thereafter I could no longer distinguish images on TV, but nothing can block these from my mind's eye.

We didn’t lose our collective heart on 9/11, that was already taking place. We had moments that day and in the days that followed when we still felt its beat. But, somewhere along the way, during the last eight years, America has contracted a social disease, which, if left unchecked, will rot this nation from within.

So, take a quiet moment today to take measure.

***

MARY STEWART’S “COLLECT (1904)”

Keep us, oh God, from pettiness;
Let us be large in thought, in word, in deed.
Let us be done with fault-finding
And leave off self-seeking.
May we put away all pretense
And meet each other face to face,
Without self-pity and without prejudice.
May we never be hasty in judgment
And always be generous.
Let us take time for all things;
Make us to grow calm, serene, gentle.
Teach us to put into action our better impulses,
Straight-forward and unafraid.
Grant that we may realize
It is the little things that create differences;
That in the big things of life we are at one.
And, may we strive to touch and to know
The great, common human heart of us all.
And, oh, Lord God,
Let us forget not to be kind.

11 comments:

Falzone for America said...

"out the ying-yang!"

This post brought tears to my eyes. I am at a loss for words. These images will never fade in our minds either BJ.

Our leaders and a large part of our fellow Americans have failed our nation. They, by virtue of their ideology, ignorance, or just simple selfishness, have diminished or national pride, honor, and integrity.

C-SPAN is talking about the new data showing that 1 in 5 children are living in poverty in the US.

I'd say 4 of 5 leaders in Washington are living with a deficit of morals.


Thanks for the prayer to both MARY STEWART and BJ TROTTER.

Good Southern Man said...

I too, forgot today is 9-11. I am struck with a renewed shock in that we did come together that day. Thanks for the reminder.

Note: I would say more but my Internet is down so I am having to use a handheld device and I do not have the fingers of a 16 year old. Lol.

Frodo, walkin' the walk said...

The front page of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution features an article on the Georgians traveling to Washington for a "Tea Party" tomorrow. The purpose of this demonstration of participatory democracy is to protest Healthcare Reform, deficit spending, government intervention in our lives,. . .and Barack Obama.

Sigh.

Frodo also suspicions that some will refer to Brown v Board of Education, Jackie Robinson, and the Busing of Schoolchildren.

Frodo and the Men of Gondor today visit the King Center in Atlanta. There will be no TV cameras.

Papamoka said...

I love the poem or should I say prayer. We should all take a few minutes to remember all that perished on that horrific day and the many that have died serving our great nation since then.

Ranch Chimp said...

Good Morning Ms.BJ!

Thanx for the post.It seem's like it was only a couple year's ago to me. I remember exactly what I was doing and thinking when this went down. In short below ....

I was at a red light on Lemmon Av East going southbound at Turtle Creek Park in Dallas' Oaklawn District (Known as Dallas' Gay Community) taking my daughter to high school,her school was in Downtown Dallas. We had the newsradio on...so I could hear the traffic report,then back to the music station of her choice every 10 minute's. When I heard the first plane crash...I freaked out...but thought it was simply an accident.Only freaking out because I remember as a child riding my 10 speed to the construction site of the 2nd tower and looking into the massive foundation hole of it as a kid(living in Brooklyn at the time) plus I have been in both tower's several times and on top as well. When I heard about the 2nd plane going in...I knew right there...without even hearing about the Pentagon or the other going down in Pennsylvania yet...that it was a terror atack...I had no doubt in my mind. A buddy called me...and said..."hey man...you watchin the news dude? what's happening?" I said to him..."what do you think man?...were getting attacked...this aint no accident man...were gettin hammered by terrorist's...bank on it!" Also living in London previously after them having attack's from IRA and other's...I just sensed it right away... like 2nd nature. I dont reckon I'll ever forget that day Mr.BJ ...

I'll shut up now ..Thank You

Ranch Chimp said...

My apologies Ms.BJ ... when I signed off on my comment..I signed out calling you "Mr.BJ" ... accidently...sorry

Sue said...

Mornin BJ, another beautiful inspiring post! What a beautiful poem to soften the hard hearts in our great country. We have been thru many horrific events in our short history and have overcome them, but this country is turning into something I don't recognize. Such hate abounds like I've never witnessed before. Thats not to diminish hate such as happened during the civil rights era, I didn't witness first hand. Anyway, I can only pray for our nation and its people. Hope you have a great weekend dear friend. Sue

by Michael Boh said...

Thanks BJ - Both 9/11 and Katrina will never leave me. I had freinds die in the towers on 9/11, and since you mentioned the hurricane, I would like to point out that it was the event that made me hate (as much as I'm capable of it) George Bush and his supporters. I will never forgive them until they admit how they failed us.

I almost lost my mother in Katrina because she was trapped for over a week (with her husband with advanced alzeimers) without food and water. My family and I couldn't get to the area (trees and flooding), and Bush and his team full of idiots were doing nothing. It was the most frustrating week of my life. We finally hired our own team with chain saws and boats to go in and get her. They almost died of thirst. Dozens of elderly with her died that week when the staff fled. It was never in the news.

I will never forgive the Republicans who still defend Bush's absurd claims that "they did everything they could" and that it was mostly up to "state and local resources." That is BS! It's one more example of how well they lie to themselves. Unfortunately, the rest of us don't believe them anymore. They have no credibility with me anymore.

Tiny said...

BJ, thanks for posting this prayer again. Tiny has a list of people who could benefit from this if they so choose. It is always a comfort to Tiny.

None of us will ever forget 9/11 and that it could have been avoided. And we keep hoping and praying that softer hearts and intelligent minds will get this nation turned around and back on a forward track. The Phoenix can rise from the ashes again with our help.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend as we reflect on our past history and plan for a brighter, more constructive and productive future.

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Debra said...

Hey B.J.,

We have been flying our flag and saying prayers, long before, during, and after 9-11-2001. I remember it well, we were watching t.v. and when it happened I immediately called my three sons and told them turn on the t.v. something horrible was happening. Then I told them to come home as soon as they possible could get their things packed. Oldest son was in Atlanta,Georgia and middle and youngest son were at Ole Miss.
I just wanted them home. Sad sad day. Our prayers are heard-God is listening.
Love, Deb

B.J. said...

A strange thing inspired this post. I came online this morning to publish a funny TGIF piece. My inbox was full of comments from another blog since I had checked to have them emailed to me. Just two women going at each other with personal attacks like two bullies in a schoolyard – “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” This is not right, I said out loud, it’s just not right. Then, it hit me: 9/11.

This post is not just about 9/11. It’s about what has happened to us in the intervening years. Perhaps the most important message in the post is found in the collect: “Teach us to put into action our better impulses, straightforward and unafraid.”

It’s just wonderful reading each of your reactions to the post.

Michael, I remember your telling me about New Orleans being your old stomping grounds as your mom lived in Bay St. Louis, Miss. I believe your feelings about what happened to your folks are quite natural.

Frodo, I hope you’ve found your quill pen and there will be a missive about the Men of Gondor and the King Center.

Thomas, we all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing that fateful morning, don’t we?

Everyone, thanks for sharing!

BJ