daily preciousness

Wednesday, September 12, 2001


I can't take my eyes off of the TV right now. The images of the attack were so compelling. Such unbelieveable acts. I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to see all of that happening close-up, first hand. I'm shocked and numbed by everything and I'm safe, hobbling around my home in North Louisiana. It's insane.

After the emotionally exhausting day yesterday, I was glad to go to an opera performance at the town civic center. Two performers from Julliard were sent there to share their music. (Sort of like a domestic version of Peace Corps -- like they're sending culture out to the less fortunate rural population. Think Culture Club, but without the drag and using opera pieces instead of pop music. Okay, admittedly a bad comparison.)

Anyway, Erica and Tomas did a great job and I thoroughly enjoyed the show. Afterwards, I attended a reception for them and had a great conversation with them. Erica, the vocalist, commented on what a difficult day it was for her. She spent most of the morning trying to contact her boyfriend in Manhattan. Her boss just recently moved offices from W 90th to an office only 2 blocks away from the WTC buildings. Luckily, her boss was late for work and actually had someone tell her, "don't bother going to work today. Your whole neighborhood has been sealed shut by the firefighters." So she didn't go to her office.

Erica said something to me that I thought was really impressive. She said that while she was shocked and frightened by what had happened, she refused to let it affect the performance of her work. She told me that she was determined to share her music with people. The self-described Iowa farmgirl remarked, "My music -- that's *my* weapon. I can't give in to the fear; otherwise, they'll win."

Tomas, the accompaniest, said that he was afraid that he might be forced back to Germany, his home, if the terrorism escalates or if the U.S. goes to war or anything like that. He was obviously very concerned, because he loves New York a lot and can't imagine not living there after 4 years spent living there.

Poor guys -- they're sort of stuck, grounded until the planes start flying again.

I just got a description of what DC felt like yesterday. Craig, An e-mail acquaintance of mine there wrote me this note:

"The first inkling I had that something was wrong was that I could not get on the net at all. Then I heard

my co-workers talking about the WTC plane crashes.

Almost immediately, there were reports--relayed by frantic co-workers--about the plane hitting the Pentagon. From the corner of my old office, we could

look across the Potomac as a white wall of smoke covered a portion of the horizon in an otherwise crystal-clear sky. Next thing we new, rumors were

flying -- a car bomb at the State Department, a plane circling the White House. We were dimissed around

11:30am. As I stepped out into the eerie and beautiful day, I watch a long processional of dazed workers beginning a march towards the Wilson bridge.

Car were lined up bumper to bumper along M Street.

Except for a few flare-ups, most people were calm. As I walked the two miles home, watching various groups

of people crowd around impromtu media centers (mostly

boomboxes set up on the sidewalk or in cars), I just remember wanting to get home and go to sleep."


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