Posted by: MC | September 11, 2011

Moments in the Weave

It’s 9-10-11.

I just landed in Washington DC National Airport.  Tonight my niece will be married on the banks of thePotomac– first of that generation.  Wow – turn-turn-turn and all of that – change, for sure!

Constancy, too.  Expense, distance and daily matters of consequence set aside as all the family that can gathers.  This is what families do.  It’s one way we love each other, taking these opportunities to cinch up the weave a bit for holding, honoring and blessing a new extension.

Welcome, Josh.  Liveliness, growth, flexibility, joy, friendship and endurance to your marriage with our Megan.

The celebration will certainly make its way well into the night – eyes will moisten and be wiped dry, my other niece sister-to-the bride will read Dr. Seuss – The Places You’ll Go, entire families of ‘bios’ and ‘steps’ will come together to smile and pray.  Then four generations will eat and laugh and dance.

Tomorrow, my sweetheart and I will come back here to DC National to board very early planes to two different states.  Tomorrow will be 9-11-11.

I would be lying, hiding a bit if I didn’t admit being impressed – even a good bit nervous about flying out of DC tomorrow.  It hasn’t helped that randomly overbearing news screens in the terminal are flashing a series of well-dressed people highly paid to speculate on terrorist threats clustering around tomorrow and around NYC and DC.

I’ve let the moment, its personal touch in my case, register enough to call friends and to chat this morning with ticket agents in Portland asking their advice on how early to arrive here tomorrow.  “At least 2-3 hours,” they said.  No one was really alarmed.  “I have a good feeling about this,” said the agent with close blonde curls who seriously could have trophies at home for high-school shot put.  She was matter-of-fact and calmly gregarious all at once.

Internally I feel myself treading a thin line of decorum – of best focus.  I am aware of deeply sounding sadness and awe with the events of a decade past at the same time I squirm a bit in honest discomfort with putting the body I associate with this ‘one wild and precious life’ (poet, Mary Oliver’s words) on a plane in DC on this anniversary.  Millions are likely having similar unbidden thoughts.  It’s not all that surprising.   But right now, the main thing?  I’m here for my niece, Megan and that is a focus from which I’d like not to be distracted.

This is what I wrote in the introduction to 100 Voices – Americans Talk about Change.

Another American moment that coincides with this book’s publication will be the tenth anniversary of 9/11.  Anniversaries are moments in which we take care of ourselves and one another.  They help us recharge our joys and they can also help us tend to our grief.  Much will be said about that horrific time – about the way it continues to demand two things – that we change and that we stand clearly together on what we value.

Anniversaries – weddings – constancy in change.  We keep showing up to life with no absolute guarantee and that seems true to Hope – and true to Love.



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