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I just finished watching a movie this evening. There are different facets, different angles and I love this. Imagine a mirror with several pieces pointing in different directions at the same time. Imagine bits and pieces of here and there that are not woven together, but they come together anyway. They don't just merge, they collide. In and out and around and back. There is no black and white. It is all blurs of grey and, what you are sure of in one moment, you are not so sure of later on.

I do not recommend many movies, I am recommending this one. I am hoping it will leave you the way it left me. Very, very quiet. I hope it makes you think. I hope it makes you pause. I hope it makes you re-examine that which drives you in your interactions with others and also what may drive them. I think it is important.

The movie: crash

< _ >

I am in love.

I am in a whirling swirling love. My love, like what it did to Rimbaud, my love makes the whirling world stand still. Like what Salman Rushdie says; Music will save us, and love. I have found my other half. I have found coincidences like how Kundera says. She is a mad roman candle. Right now, I am Clarissa Dalloway.

I wish you would understand, out there, all of you, on this E2 thing. And the only reason I write this is because I have this overflow, this excess of absolute emotion that floods out of my ears and onto the floor and into the streets; I live on the sixth floor, but I really am in the clouds. We are two halves of a whole, like what they said at the symposium. We will listen to the same music and read the same books, completely independently of each other. I want to share this with you all; and wish that you might be happier today, tonight, knowing that it does exist; that it will exist; and that it does for you, and for you too.

Music will save us, and love. I met her for thirty minutes, or for five. I am completely with ease with her. I have told her things that I have told no one else before. She reveals herself to me, opens herself up. We are split across an ocean. I am yet eighteen, nineteen in Korea, she is twenty one. I am right now both just nine months old and already dead. I could disappear this moment, and the world will still tick, but I am alive and loving. Love is a verb -- and this time, It has a subject. And a different pronoun: WE are in love.

It is boiling; bitter; red! The world is alive, and important, and unnecessary. I have this quiet sense of belonging. A street smiles shines. New York is beautiful, its dirtiness is just loveable, the neon lights, the platinum spires, the telephone wires. The city, light bright dark harsh up down around and inside out. Is absolutely undeniably crazily heart-rendingly beautiful.

Every day I walk around these streets and along these pathways and have this great vibrations in the world; have gravity lines bending, curling, swirling. Whirling. This wonderful vertigo at having found, having been found. Every step and breath is an elongated syllable.

and I'm with her, her, her, and nobody knows

suede - heroine

I have taken down all of the political cartoons I had plastered all over the walls of my office criticizing George Bush. Ditto the news column clips, ditto the cut-and-pasted quotes of those with the temerity and integrity to question the pseudo-democratic farce the Bush presidency has become.

I no longer debate the lack of foresight, compassion, and concern the administration exhibits without the least amount of shame in the face of impacts to our society the likes we haven't seen in a century.

I have simply given up.

Unless something massively catastrophic (yet again) happens, I will cease my diatribes, both in print and in person, against this sick excuse for a government. (I will discuss the issues with like-minded people, however.)

By now, anyone who still can find a rationalization for keeping that lout in office is beyond any form of intelligent argument I am capable of. I feel like Cassandra in Troy.

My heart goes out to the poor victims of his policies, from the uncounted dead in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the hidden torture chambers of our adminstration and their allies, to the old women drowned in their beds in New Orleans waiting for rescuers that never came.

I have only pity for those who still support Bush.

While reading the September 11, 2001, September 11, 2001 - II and September 11, 2001 - III daylogs, the memories came flooding back of their own volition. The horror of seeing panicked innocents jumping from a 110 story building because it's better than being burned alive. The horror imagining what it was like to be passengers in aircraft being used as flying bombs, watching the ground rush closer, closer, closer, fellow passengers screaming frantic prayers to deaf gods and offering mental messages to loved ones in those final few secon...

And then nothing.

Everybody remembers where they were on the morning of September 11, 2001. The surreal nature of life that day. Tears flowing down cheeks unbidden and unchecked.

Hatred? There was none that day. That didn't happen until later. On Sept. 11, it was only a mass national grief for the dead.

The United States telephone system had its busiest day in history that day. Of course it did. Each of us called our loved ones. The most stoic of us said in cracking voices how much we loved them, no matter where they were.

My cousins in Europe called me. Christl, the former communist and most virulently anti-American, emailed and called, "Are you all right?" I live and work close to the Pentagon, close to CIA headquarters, close to Ground Zero. Astrid from Germany called. Irene and Ingrid and even Emil Jr. let me know how much they thought about us. My aunts and uncles who were still alive, who survived World War II, had flashbacks of their own to a time when the whole world was a conflagration, and they remembered, oh yes, they remembered.

In the very next sentence they would always say how much they grieved for the United States. The nations of the world were aggrieved for us in a way we'd never seen before. France. Canada. Sweden. Even Switzerland. Such national outpourings of affection and sorrow we may never see again.

My daughter looked up that day, a freshman at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, while she was out for her physical fitness run, and saw an airplane streaking across the sky flying lower than she'd ever remembered. The sound of the impact, moments later, as it crashed into the Pentagon, and even later, the cloud of smoke.

I walked to a window of my building, the top floor of one of the highest buildings in the northern Virginia area, and looked down to see the Pentagon on fire.

The drive home was like a movie of the Apocalypse. Everyone drove slowly. People were polite. There was virtually no traffic by the time I left to go home. We were all watching television, too stunned to eat or make dinner or do anything except hold our loved ones.

That night, and for many evenings in the Washington DC area, our skies were streaked with the contrails of angry jets. The roar shook our houses. Military helicopters, with the characteristic WHUP WHUP WHUP noise their bladetips make, criss cross the skies between the White House, the various intelligence agencies, and national miitary command centers. Our house is under the path of one of those routes.

Since then I have familiarized myself with the teachings of Islam. I was one of the many who read the Qu'ran for the first time, and became acquainted with both its beauty and malevolence, flowing seamlessly between sentences like a mixture of gasoline and water. I began reading the histories of Islam, especially how it favored and then dismissed technology and the enlightenment that came from Western Europe's Renaissance. It puzzled me, how this religion seemed to be so stuck in feudal times. It puzzles me still. I have concluded that religion and human progress do not mix. Perhaps I am wrong about this. Time will tell.

The echoes of that far off time, that day that seems so paradoxically close by and yet so far distant, they reverberate throughout our world like the relics of the Big Bang did throughout the universe. We know something important happened that day. Now we are fragmented in our theories as to the meaning of those events. We want to make sure we tell our children and our grandchidren the central lessons we'd learned four years ago. We don't all agree on what those lessons are.

Roses and weeds grow out of the same dirt. Hatred and love arise out of the ashes of our memories. Hatred and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Sunday, September 11th, 2005.

I was reading discussion about the impact of this day four years ago, when it struck me.

Four years.

We've been at war for four years.

George Bush has recently compared the so-called "War on Terror" to World War II. Our involvement in World War II was finished in four years.

I'm beginning to become afraid that this will not end, that this country will become locked in a perpetual state of war, retribution, and aggression. I'm beginning to become afraid that we can do naught but watch our rights, freedoms, and privacy slowly dwindle away in the name of safety.

The terrorists supposedly attack us because they hate our freedoms, and we respond by taking them away. I will never in my life understand the logic of that.

I sincerely hope that one day America comes to its senses. I love it, and watching the ideal slowly waste away is sometimes more than I can bear.

One thing is certain to me - we cannot stay this course.

I planned a more extensive WU, but this is a quick wrapup. I'm still living in the motel, and find the freedom almost too liberating (I've spent way too much money celebrating, but I've managed to save $40...so far, for things other than food and shelter). I also feel a lot less angry at the world, and more rested. Now, what next?

Yesterday, I had, as I said, two leads on a home. The first sounded AMAZING, a half a house with a hard-working gay urologist (gee, he must REALLY like his work....)who would be almost never home. Come to find out he used to live right next to me...while he was an intern, he used to act as if I were violently insane and/or infected with a strange disease...I mean, what kind of guy turns down beef rib bones for his dog, claiming the dog's a vegan? Or announces he's a teetotaler, on the other side of the door, when you ask to borrow a bottle opener? I ask you?

This time was no different. Upon seeing me, he said "I remember you. Good-bye." (My mother asked me "But, did the house look OK?")

The second lead was a lot better. A friend-of-a-friend, I found out, whose handle is fiawol. "Fandom is a way of life?" I wrote back in my email. Well, I (apparently) was the only other person who got it. We had a fine chat about Jack Parsons, the state of the Church of Scientology down the street, and so forth. I'll get to hear from him on Wednesday. Wish me luck everyone!

I also went to church this morning. I took Communion from "that" priest, but we're still not talking to each other.

When I read the class' assigned readings, I perused with little attention to any particular segment. However, when I read this particular section, I found myself drawn to it, like a small child watching a tin train run on its tiny tin tracks through a pane of glass:“…He’s so savoring the moments of his life right now, so acutely aware of love and small pleasures that he no longer feels that he has a life-threatening disease: he now says he’s leading a disease-threatening life,” (Lamott 118-119). This phrase struck me. Not only did its poignancy and emotion lead me to read it several times, drinking in its implication, but it struck an emotional chord with me that hadn’t been touched in a while. It wasn’t a light ‘striking’ of a chord, like the tender pinging of a piano’s hammer striking the strings within the instrument’s belly. Oh no…this sentiment smacked me like an openhanded wallop right in the kisser. This man, this friend of Lamott’s, had mastered getting up when the going was tough.

I know what a feat that is, because I, too, spent a period of my life wondering why God felt the need to force me to go on living. At first it was hard enough to think about to myself, let alone verbalize, but after a year, I can talk about it and realize that incredible pain can inadvertently pave the way for phenomenal blessing. In May of 2004, one of my closest guy ‘friends’ raped me; this sexual assault led to a pregnancy, and two days before my freshman year of college was to begin, my Grandma Shug died. Still dealing with the rape and added grief of losing one of the closest people in my life, my Grandma, in mid-September of that year, I miscarried the baby. In the following months as I struggled to go to class, keep my faith, and my sanity, three of my uncles died.

The emotional pain was so intense that some days I swore that God was smiting me. People say that God doesn’t do that anymore, but how do we know? The mighty hand of God killed Annaias and Sapphira of the New Testament because they had sinned against Him. In my torment, I felt like God had not only struck down those that I loved, allowed me to be mentally and physically assaulted, but then turned His back on me when I cried out to Him to deliver me. And as for crying, the well was endless. Some days, I didn’t go to class because I had stayed up crying all night and couldn’t drag myself out of bed the next day. Others, I was too paranoid to go outside, fearing that people would see me and “know” that I was a broken person. Not trusting people and behaving like a walking zombie was definitely a low that no person should ever have to bear alone; unfortunately, I had made up my mind that Jesus wasn’t saving me anymore. People tout the old clichés and “there is so much to live for,” but I couldn’t see it. Everything I saw was viewed through a filter of pain, distrust, and anger.

Even now, I’m not sure what “snapped” me out of it. Maybe it was the e-mails from my mama every morning, just telling me that she loved me, sending me love and “Big Slobbery Licks from Scarlett,” our dog. Maybe it was my Daddy, always telling me things that I rolled my eyes about but memorized later. “I’m not okay, you’re not okay, and that’s okay.” Maybe it was the sorority on campus that I joined, Alpha Delta Pi, where I met wonderful girls, many of who share my faith and who have helped me heal. Maybe it’s my wonderful fiancé, who’s been a perfect gentleman and realized that every person isn’t “out to get” me, and that love is one helluva Band-Aid on a broken heart. Maybe it’s my church family back home, sending me e-mails, care packages, and cards, just to let me know that they were thinking about me. Or maybe it was my beautiful, beautiful Jesus, putting people in my life that could show me how to smile through the rain.

For his anger lasts only a moment,but his favor lasts a lifetime;weeping may remain for a night,but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

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