Grief

Lughnasa                                                    Full Harvest Moon

Grief.  I’ve been asking myself, over this weekend, why we have had such an outsized response to 9/11.  Outsized, I say, when considered in the context of other, smaller countries who have as large or larger tragedies.  Outsized, I say, when it suggests we alone suffer.  Outsized, I say, when considered against lives lost in other conflicts like Vietnam, WWII, WWI, the Civil War.

This morning it finally came to me.  Probably obvious to you already.  It is not an outsized response when the grief is for vulnerability, a new feeling of OMG, the dangers of the world might apply to us here at home.  Grief for a nation with two of the largest moats ever to defend a homeland:  the Atlantic and the Pacific.  Grief for a sense of a particular safety, a feeling that we could fight all of our wars far from our own shores.

On 9/11 we entered the global village, became one with Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Russia.  Not one with them in scale of tragedy because their tragedies exceed our own, but one with them as fellow humans now fully exposed to the fracture lines of our too factional world.

We gathered and mourned yesterday not for a particular event, though it was a tragedy, or at least not solely for a particular event, but for a new raw feeling, a wound not to the flesh, but to the heart.  Our hearts are now open, open to the pain and suffering experienced by those who have known all along that the world is not a safe place.

May it make us less willing to inflict on the world yet more suffering.

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