Write Out of the Margins!

Live On!

At 12:34 in Seattle, the sky is still silent. The first plane has not yet taken off after the grounding of September 11. News cameras are rolling out at SeaTac to film it -- a newsworthy event, the takeoff of a plane.

In New York, there is still smoke in the air. Firefighters search rubble desperately for survivors, including their own. Families and friends keep calling hotlines, searching posted lists for the names of loved ones still missing. They wait at bedsides or haunt hospital waiting rooms. They cling to each other and grieve for those torn from them.

But even in New York and Washington D.C., people are going back to work, children are going back to school, we do the shopping and cook meals, we have other emergencies to take care of from a stolen cell phone to a closed homeless shelter. Fruit ripens for harvest, our children bring art and stories home from school, we make love and share joy.

Will life ever really go back to "normal"? I hope and pray it won't. We have been shocked out of complacency and slammed into a world where war is not the sole prerogative of governments, where individuals have more power for both creation and destruction than ever before. The people of the United States have been shocked into awareness of our vulnerability to the terror and violence that people in the rest of the world have been living with for decades. The world has changed for all of us.

But life will continue. Comedies and love affairs will no longer seem irrelevant. Life will be our victory.

We are not alone. It's important to realize that we have more friends than we have enemies. Terrorists are not just our enemies, they are the enemies of all humanity, and if humanity unites against them, they are doomed.

It is important to remember not just how much we have been hurt, but how much we have; not just how dangerous our situation is, but how strong we are; not just death but life. The greatest offense to terrorists is not to be terrorized.

There are homeless people praying for all the people in New York, and going in to give blood. We are united in each other's suffering. People who live in poverty are giving a few dollars each to the Red Cross. Housewives stand in front of American mosques, against misdirected rage.

You, each and every one of you, is more powerful than you know, more powerful than you have ever allowed yourself to be. The people doing evil are only individual humans like you. Go out and be just as powerful a force for good.

We have all shared grief, pain, fear and rage. Now let us share our strength and hope.

Love and Virtual Hugs. Pass it on.

Related Links:
Terrorists Are Our Enemies. Muslims Aren't.
An American Woman's Prayer, September 14, 2001
My Daily Log
September 11 Activism Page
You can discuss this essay further at Homeless Discussion Forum

More Essays
Other Writing
Home Page
to the last page you were on Back Button - History Link