"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Day Again

The morning dawned exactly like that one 9 years ago. Pure, cloudless blue sky and sunshine and crisp, clean air. Today is, in fact, almost unbearably identical to September 11, 2001.

Last night at the Lodge the Chap and I were reminiscing, prompted by a History Channel special on the grounding of all the planes within 3 & 1/2 hours.

He'd flown out on the 10th for a business trip that was mean to last a couple of days. A very long and lonely week would go by before I saw him again. He had to drive himself home from Wisconsin in a rental car...the airports were still closed. My parents were in Scotland; my brother in Atlanta. The in-laws were scattered about the country.

"I still have the undershirt and knickers I bought in Beloit, on my way home," my husband said last evening. He'd run out of clean clothes.

I suprised us both by starting to cry.

This morning he wore that t-shirt.

I can't not remember the horror and disbelief that walked with me that day, that week, and ever since. Those events are directly responsible for immediate and gradual changes in our lives. Ultimately he chose to work in a different profession. I changed directions in my writing. We committed ourselves to public service and expanded our volunteer activities. The only thing we didn't alter was our habit of international travel.

In a curious way, I'm rolling back time to 2001. I've ramped down some of my public activities. I'm re-evaluating my volunteer efforts. After 9 years of intense involvement in more things than I will enumerate here, I have an urge to nest--and to be more selective in the way I spend my time in service to others.

And I've returned to the very same writing project that I was beginning to work on in the autumn of 2001. My view of it has changed over time, my focus is different.

All of this gives me an eerie sense of stepping back through the years to pick up pieces of a life only vaguely remembered. I'm still me, but different. The world is the same, yet changed.

I woke at the Lodge today. I was lying in exactly the same spot in bed I was when the local radio announcer broke in to say a "small plane" had crashed into one of the World Trade towers in Lower Manhattan. Only this time the Chap was lying beside me, and a different pair of dogs slumbered on the floor beside our fourposter.

I've blogged about September 11 several times. You can read my reflections if you wish: Remembrances and The Longest Morning and Dividing Line.

I came to the lake cottage today with the dogs...so peaceful, hardly a boat on the water even though it's a weekend. If I didn't already know, nothing could more clearly indicate that Labor Day is behind us.

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