I don’t like scary movies. I’m not into fight scenes or high-impact-action types. The flip-side, I’m not a hopeless romantic either. B- always says I only like to laugh, A. what’s wrong with that? and B. it should be noted that comedy and satire are different forms. Thrillers I could do without but regardless of the genre, one thing remains true, I do appreciate and honor a good true-story. I have this little saying “the least I can do is hear their story,” in which I apply to anything that had it been fiction I wouldn’t give the time of day to. Yet when it’s real, I feel compelled. Everyone has a voice, a story, a perspective to be valued and to be shared.
So tonight, after a crazy long day, I sit reliving moments that weren’t ever my reality yet in some patriotic way, were.
These moments need no picture painted. We all know. We all remember. We all have watched the footage, millions lived it and thousands didn’t survive it. It’s not my story to tell but what is, is that just like you, I remember that morning. My very routine, mundane Tuesday until the moment I heard, I know the young lady and can hear her voice now, as she ran down the hall telling us. The moments I watched. I know where I was. I hear the voices, and the silence, of my classmates. We sat hundreds of miles north in a little New England school stricken with an unfamiliar pain that for most of us, being so young, was unfamiliar. The look on my english teacher’s face when we watched the south tower get hit, then fall, shortly followed by the north, and the fear for people scattering like red ants. I remember it was one of the first times that tears fell down my face without the emotional build up that usually accompanies it. I didn’t know I was crying. I didn’t know I was emotionally vested, much like an emotional draw to a movie. Unfortunately (the obvious) this wasn’t a movie.
Fourteen years later I find myself glued to a TV screen, clutching my cross pendant, taking deep breaths, watching one documentary after another, about events I watched unravel live over a dozen years ago. I should be sleeping but I can’t turn it off. It’s honestly, probably the reason I’m not a fan of fictional dramatics. We live in a world of action and pain; climatic dramatics fill our newsfeeds, radio stations and larger-than-ever-intended TV screens. WHY do I need to watch “make-believe story-lines” in movies, when our daily reality is scary enough? By the way, TV screens largely magnifying 5:00p news-broadcasts? Is this necessary? I feel it makes it worse. I digress… different soapbox, different post. The difference is that you can’t change reality. Someone’s experience, existence, personal story, I can’t change it. I can however, honor it. And the only way I know how to do that is to use my senses to feel, to listen, to be empathetic, to seek understanding and offer compassion. I can take action where/when it’s deemed appropriate but that’s not always an option. So, in my little world I feel like the least I can do is listen and hope; that in the grand scheme of things I can honor one person’s life/story/mission by listening to it.
If it scares me, scars me, or plants seeds of visions (good or bad) I’ll never get rid of, that story left an impact on me and for that, and much like 9/11/01, I can at the very least, file that story in my heart.