Memories of 9/11 continue to create many images. I recall the most beautiful blue sky in months and a mild and gentle day. Soon that image would disappear, erased by the most brutal and devastating act of violence inflicted on the United States in history.
In the days that followed, there were many peaceful actions, including veiled Arab American women being escorted to mosques by citizens of other faith traditions so that they would not suffer retaliation. Thousands lined up to give blood. Flowers filled fire stations. Peaceful responses became routine.
Following 9/11, I wrote The Bluest Sky as a tribute to those who were lost and to those who reached out in love.
The Bluest Sky
The bluest sky in months brought Spring-like optimism to New Yorkers walking to work, jogging in the park, eating atop the tower's restaurant. The blueness of that day, hypnotic in its brilliance, foretold a deeper trance to grip a nation.
Too soon, that blueness, disrupted by a gray dagger, pierces the tower's heart. As if for emphasis, another gray dagger pierces its twin - pierces the heart of a nation. Rage-fed gray metal, smoke, flood sky and streets.
Grayness cannot hide lovers jumping from windows, a child grabbing her mother's hand, running down the street, a firefighter rushing to an early grave, with cell phone pleading for an answer.
A priest anoints another with oil of hope in a world of innocence about to die.
City streets flood with runners escaping the eruption of hell. Nowhere to run in an inferno of hatred, covering a sleeping land.
Terror consumes hearts fleeing to loved ones, to churches, to a place without smoke or metal.
Later, a litany of love lines streets. Photos appear with prayers of hope. Flowers fill fire stations.
Studied grief, beneath the shadow of a cross, stretches beyond boundaries.
Painting the sky blue - those who reach out in love protecting worshipers who enter Mosques, seeking understanding of the 'other,' working to rebuild lives. The sky will be blue again.