Thursday, September 11, 2008


"If they are rebuilt, I will dance across again. I will dance across and people will look at the sky and they will believe again that mountains can move. They can move, you know. I have seen it."

--Philippe Petit

Edited: I tried so hard to be minimalist here, but I think simple eloquence will after all elude me. It's a sad day here in Brooklyn, NY. Still there's a visceral memory of fear and pain. I feel that anxious feeling in the pit of my stomach, that one does on the anniversary of something terrible. It was such an awful day, and now seven years later it's just a fragmented jumble--we didn't know then what was happening, or what was going to happen--my sister, at work near the Twin Towers, saw it happen from a window of her classroom--there was a confused cell phone call, in which I advised her to "catch a cab" home, not really understanding--instead she made it to the Williamsburg Bridge just ahead of the debris cloud, and ran across it--I remember our relief when the first military fighter jets flew over Manhattan--and that day and the next days I was home alone with baby Hedgie while Sarge worked round the clock, napping on cots when he could--and that night I camped out on the living room floor and listened to the unearthly quiet outside, like the whole world had died--later, walking in the city with my friend, the heart-stopping sight of the hundreds of missing persons fliers posted outside the New York Armory by family and friends, looking for lost loved ones who were by then all, every single one of them, ghosts...

Dear New York City, I'm still so sorry--dear secretaries and kitchen workers and lawyers and flight attendants--

and dear front line workers and soldiers, those in some cases unwilling and unwitting heroes:

Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth's foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling,
And took their wages, and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay.

A.E. Housman


just bob said...

Truly wonderful and touching. Thanks Leah.

just bob


well said... thank you for putting so many feelings into words... very nice.

Suzanne said...

What a beautiful post. It inspires me to write one. I didn't want to, but now feel compelled after seeing Philippe. He's a dear, dear friend of our family ~ lives next door to my sister and her family. I'll explain in my post. Seeing him helped me find my voice. Do you mind if I borrow the photo and the quote? Both are beautiful. It's always nice to see Philippe doing what he does so well.

I'm grateful you, your family and friends all survived 911. And thank you for writing such a moving post.

Love you dear,
Moi XO

muralimanohar said...

End of my bloglines, and first post to actually bring me to tears.

Suzanne said...

I'm waiting for the "release." I may just have to steal.

Suzanne said...

Why? Cuz that's my Philippe!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments guys--xoxo,


Suzanne said...

No one will ever see this, but just came back to look at Philippe. Life goes on, doesn't it darling?

just bob said...

just bob sees everything...

Debbie in CA : ) said...

This is the single most moving post I have read regarding Remembrances of 9/11. You were there ... you saw, heard, felt, endured the pain and anguish that I only heard reported way out here in California.

Thank you for the courage to share so personally.

My prayers continue for so many as the healing process continues ...