It was the most beautiful sky. Sitting on the bus, working through music for an audition, I looked up in time to watch the skyline before we rounded the bend to the tunnel. Daydreaming with Sondheim running through my head, everything froze in an instant. I looked around at other passengers to see if they witnessed what I had just seen. That couldn’t be right. Silence engulfed us until someone took out a phone and made a call home. I didn’t have a cell phone. I listened for pieces of information as someone else was listening to a radio. The bus stalled in the standstill of the traffic as the driver was directed to turn around. Eyes plastered on the smoke that was rising, there were audible gasps as suddenly one of the towers was simply not there.
Today, my 12-year-old is auditioning for a school play. The sky has cleared and it’s a glorious blue. Reverberations are everywhere. It’s been a gray week, and not just because of the rain. I’m beginning to feel my age. It’s settling into my bones.
Recognizing the impact of the loss to all of us, I think it makes us more empathetic, more human, and, yes, more damaged. Sharing experiences is what makes life’s surreal moments more manageable; somehow easier to contemplate. We read to know that we’re not alone. If we’re ready, we may choose to talk to someone willing to listen.
This day will pass. All of them do. Cherish the sky. Hold it dear. Few things are certain: Loss is one; love is another.
Photo courtesy of the author.
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