Footnote: The Pile Next to My Bed and Associated Thoughts/Reflections
In between seemingly endless summer searches and treks to find a brick and mortar home for my beloved Griffonage Studios, a massive pile of books is beginning to collect on the table next to my bed. All are works that I am longing to read and I had hoped that summer would lend me the time to indulge. So far, as the month of July now begins, this season has not yet afforded me enough opportunity for one of my favorite pastimes.
On the top of the stack, sits a book that I am dying to consume, entitled “Falling Man” by Don DiLillo which was just recently published in May of this year. The title refers to the events in New York City on September, 11 2001, with a reference to the haunting image photographed by Richard Drew. I am anxious to absorb any literary analysis/reflection/response/fallout from that life changing day.
An old friend, from the days when I worked in the stock market (another life?)had an office in the Twin Towers in New York City and we did not hear from him for two days after the attacks. Luckily, as I seem to recall, his office was on the third floor of the first tower and he was able escape the tragedy, at least to escape without bodily harm. It was a scary two days and as I worried endlessly and desperately hoped for his survival my heart was aching for the countless others who had no hope of such a happy conclusion.
I am quite afraid of heights.
Oddly, in the place where I lived at the time, in far northern, rural California, the attacks of September 11, 2001 did not seem to register with the teachers who worked around me. Already, these so called professionals (mostly comprised of a group of refugee hippies from the 1970s) were involved in their own series of brutal attacks upon one another. However being on the outside of the K-12 inner circle (a place which seemed wholly appropriate for me), this destructive scheme was something to which I was not privy until its’ own appalling outcome began to take awful shape sometime later. As for my own version of the harrowing days when Mars influenced all of our lives; I continue to work on a book about these parallel (and dreadful) events. The passage of time allows a more rational and sympathetic angle. Experiencing the cruelty and the malice of those who claim to have evolved from the generation of “love” has forever altered my understanding of the human capacity to inflict cruelty upon one another. In the forest, (away from civilization) very often, folks are reduced to responses vulgarly influenced simply by the instinctual and primal animal within. Not so pretty.
For me, as for countless others, the incident on September 11, 2001 signified a major turning point in my life, in my world and in my perception. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the annihilation of the Twin Towers (perhaps signified most fluently by the image of the Falling Man) was a ghastly symbol of many other battles and horrors yet to unfold in many other lives around the world. I have always believed it was the ultimate manifestation of Mars and its’ proximity to Earth (the closest in 500 years, or so they say) which provided the explanation for much of what occurred in my own little world, as well as the lives of others in the three years which followed September 11, 2001.
While my days in northern California do contain some onerous tales from 2001 to 2003, it is quite essential to note that the time spent in that remote corner of the world also granted me 16 marvelous years of solitude, beauty and unimaginable spiritual experiences, as well। The ability to forgive (or to place in meaningful perspective) allows even the most injured among us to move forward and live a creative and productive life, in spite of terrible challenges.This much I know for certain; the prospect of Mars’ aggressive influence has conferred upon me the insight to carry on and ride out times of vicious storms, hopefully stronger and wiser than ever.
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