All this morning, I've been thinking about September 11th 2001. It flitters in and out of my brain as I prep for the day.
At once, I remember the fear I felt when I heard about the World Trade Center. I felt the panic wondering if my family and my best friends were okay. You see, at this time, 15 years ago, I was working as a research assistant in Boston, MA and NYC felt like a second home to me.
The east coast still pulls me in some days and today, is one of those days for sure.
Usually, I remember fondly when the leaves changed right outside my window and I didn't have to travel to see the first snow flakes of winter dot the landscape. Today, however, I am in San Diego, California and the trees that are changing color are doing so more because of the lack of water due to the drought than the oncoming fall.
Today, I can't go to the synagogue and its members that held me close when I wept at its doors, and in its services, surrounded by my dear friend and a family member. No, today, I am 3000 miles away.
15 years later. I am not at my first 9 to 5 job at which I worked while taking a year between undergrad and my graduate studies. I am working for myself (well, for my own corporation) as a licensed psychologist having finished all my graduate work (for now) and all my licensing exams.
Amongst the blue skies of today, I remember the blue, blue skies that day. I remember feeling content at my job, tip tapping on my computer in my cubicle. And then, at once, I remember calling my friends to make sure they were okay and wondering what it would have been like to have been there, only a few states away.
I remember the fear in the weeks after 9-11. I remember relief and connection when I walked by American flags that hung in the windows of my neighborhood. Now, 15 years later, when I see American flags in neighborhoods near and far, I feel uneasy with a bit of fear.
My full support for the USA winning against all odds has been replaced by weeping as I remember the lives of those lost both in the towers, in the planes, on the ground, overseas, right here in the US, the terror, the fear of the other, of the stranger, and the increase in racism that I see around me post 9-11. I wonder if those flags in the windows now stand for justice or for othering. I wonder which houses host conversations of Walls and other Divides and which homes, I hope, harbor messages of hope and love and difference.
On facebook an activist posted this comic, and it is in the importance of sharing its message of FIGHTING for justice and peace in all of our day to day lives that I post it here. I wish I knew who created it so I may cite them, but I do not.
Support the stranger.
Look to how you can help.
Stand up for your neighbor.
Speak up or out
and for goodness sakes,
Let's all support and love each other.
Please stand up for love and kindness towards others on this day and in the future.
I know that I will be doing my best to right a world so full of wrongs.
In Peace, Justice, and with Love to All Humanity,
Dr. Abi Weissman
Please note that this post does not connote a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Abi Weissman.