Monday, March 11, 2002

Six Months Later

I've been holding off on writing so as not to bore you with all the minutia of my life. A number of people are writing to me for journal entries so I decided to give this update:

Has it reall been 6 months? It seems like it happened a week ago. The media circus is camped outside my window. I've never seen so many vans with satellite dishes...creepy. Then, of course, there is the light memorial which makes it hard to forget the horror of what happened. I understand that some people want the lights...there's no right answer. Either way, some one is going to get hurt. My friend Abigail had a great idea for a memorial: on the year mark, have every church around the world ring it's bell once for every person that died.

Still, I do not need a memorial, a reminder...I am reminded every day by the stench and the noise, the empty stores, the empty apartments, the gray ash on the tree trunks, the debris in flowerbeds, the dust in my flat, the chronic nose bleeds and the nightmares.

Nightmare - a plane flew into my building and I had to jump out of the window to another building, leaving my cats behind to save myself.

Nightmare- I was inside one of the towers trying to convince people to leave because a plane was about to crash into it. No one would believe me and went about their business. I heard the planes come and tried to run out of the tower, but it began to collapse on tope of me. I could hear the crash of each floor as I huddled in a window covering my head.

Nightmare- I was stnading outside my apartment watching the people jump to their deaths one by one. I saw the people on fire too. My boyfriend woke me up because I was wimpering and jerking in my sleep.

Nightmare - There was shooting in the streets and I saw a baby on a sidewalk. I picked upt the child and started running. A gunman shot at us and hit the child. There was blood on the baby's head and I feared a head wound, but realized the babe had been shot in the leg. I kept running with the baby and the babe went into shock. The child stopped breathing so I began rescuse breathing while running with the child to the hospital. I woke up.

Back to reality...the low flying planes still scare me and I always look up to see where they are. There were a couple of nights of fighter jet fly bys recently that were absolutely terrifying. My boyfriend lives a mile away and called imediately to check on me following one early evening fly-by. One night (actually 4:28 am)two fighter jets flew so low that it was painfully loud and I jumped out of bed and ran to the window. My heart was pounding in my chest and I couldn't stop shaking for 30 minutes.

Here's what I've been doing to recover: I surround myself with things that bring me joy...I listen to music, read, I go to concerts (Phil Lest, CSN&Y, Ani D, and Dan Bern). I start swing classes again on monday...I make things.

What I don't do: watch the news, no paper, and I cut cable to just a few channels. The only thing I watch ontv is "Whose Line Is It Anyway" because it makes me laugh.

My cats seem to be alright except for Elvis who is more dominant than usual and picks on Sid. Sid has also taken to sleeping in the carrier which I leave out at all times just incase.

AND...I met the most wonderful man in the world. He is a kind, loving, intelligent being and makes me laugh, and brings me joy, and is altogether adorable.

The landlord is holding us to our leases which meeans he will sue anyone who breaks their lease, so we are forced to stay. In the meantime, he has given us 25% off the rent for the remainder of the lease. The tenants assoc asked him for an additional 5% due to lack of amenitities and he tried to swindle them out of any aid they received from charities etc. The management offered my neighbor an empty apt on my side of the building as his faces ground zero and the fumes are making him sick, but then they told him they would increase his rent by 30% if he switched apts. The greed of NYC landlords is sickening.

There is one grocer opened here and the price-gouging is outrageous! The Italian deli opened and they are charging $7 for a jar of sun dried tomatoes. One has to hike up to the village to buy food at a fair price.

Another example of the madness down here is the opening of West Street which has been blocked since 9/11. The city started building an ugly new foot bridge over it so we can cross without dealing with traffic, but they stopped halfway through and opened the highway anyway. Laughable!

In other news: I met the wonderful, Dr. Patch Adams recently and attended his lecture on "Joy and the Art of Caring" which was less a lecture on medicine and more a powerful platform for non-violence. He's a kind and brave soul.

Sunday, March 10, 2002

A Strong Woman

"A strong woman is a woman who craves love
like oxygen or she turns blue choking.
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling:
she is not strong as a stone, but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.

What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightening from a cloud.
Lightning stuns. In rain, the clouds disperse.
only water of connection remains,
flowing through us. Strong is what we make
each other. Until we are all strong together,
a strong woman is a woman strongly afraid."

-Marge Piercy
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