Tuesday, August 22, 2006

enclosed in a blanket {self-portrait challenge}

enclosed in a blanket

Enclosed in a blanket…
hiding from a world filled with cancer and terrorism.

(see other self-portraits here)

Why am I hiding?

Over the weekend, we saw World Trade Center. For some reason, I felt very compelled to see this. I cried through several moments, and I felt amazed by the strength of the people who experienced that day. I cannot believe that people survived the crumbling of those buildings. My husband and I sat behind seven teenage boys. One of them cried through almost the entire movie. I wish we could have taken him out for tea afterwards to just say, “how are you? who are you? are you okay?”

So I have had terrorism on the brain. Then last night, Jon was watching a documentary about the 9/11 Commission. And I was sucked into the last hour or so. This documentary was what the movie was not. In the sense that I felt right there in it, and I didn’t really feel that in the movie; the movie told a different story. And, of course, it was a movie. The documentary had actual footage. Seeing people choose jumping to their death over burning to death. Hearing the last phone calls. Listening to a father tell a story that his son was on the phone with him from the plane and he heard his son saying, “Oh God” before the plane hit while his wife was across the room watching the television and saw her son die as the plane he was on hit the second tower. The father says, “We lost half of our family that day.” His son, his daughter-in-law, and granddaughter were on the plane that crashed in to Tower 2.

I believe that the people who are at fault on this day were the terrorists because they caused this horror. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if it could have been avoided if people were awake in their lives. If people who overheard something that sounded like a hijacking did more than just think “oh that can’t be real.” If people paid attention to the metal detector going off when a person was “wanded” in the airport. If people didn’t put a flight attendant on one of the planes on hold and then not really do anything with what she was saying for almost 30 minutes, repeatedly asking her for her name and her seat, even when she had explained that a passenger had been stabbed. I believe that people do the best they can, but I cannot believe that only one person who testified in front of the commission apologized for errors that were made. And there were so many errors made. I don’t want to go into all the details here because, most of all, I know that I do not know them all. I know that I do not understand. I know I only saw the last hour of this documentary. However, I have a new understanding that I think I avoided understanding prior to now. And my heart feels heavy today. I couldn’t sleep last night because I had nightmares about people in the midst of a fear I cannot comprehend.

I am also hiding from this dreaded word: cancer. A family member called today to tell me that he has skin cancer. Yes. They caught it early. Yes. He has to have a somewhat scary sounding procedure soon. Yes. He will probably be fine. But I hate that word. I have lost too many people already in my life to this disease. And even though I know this doesn’t make sense, I want it to go away. Far away. Actually, I just want it to vanish.

On a bright note though, when I turned to walk from the family room to another room in our house, I looked out the sliding glass door and there, in the middle of our back porch hovered a hummingbird. No flowers anywhere near it. It just hovered and seemed to stare at me through the glass. Hummingbirds have special place in my heart (see this post to understand a bit more); my grandmother taught me to love them.

I am taking this as a sign to just keep doing what I am doing and living in my life.