Posts Tagged 'beauty'

Why still bring up September 11th?

But now’s the time to sip the lime and bask in summer’s breath.

It seems so rude when thoughts intrude reminding us of death.

(Excerpt from the Prologue of the 9/11 Epic Poem)

Why bring up 9/11 after all these years? Why should we not simply forget about it and go back to sipping softdrinks as the poem says? The reason I bring it up is in case some people have not learned the lesson yet: the lesson of human mortality. Yes, good, sunny laid-back days are alright as long as you have allowed yourself to be changed by the bad days. But many people refuse to be changed by the bad days, and go back to an attitude of relaxation without finding a satisfactory answer to the ultimate questions. My point for this poem is simple: THE ULTIMATE QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ANSWERED!!!

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Finite actions have infinite results

That date, well known, is etched in stone, on far too many tombs;

And ev’ry year these thoughts draw near when mid-September looms.

(Excerpt from the Prologue of the 9/11 Epic Poem)

One of the main points of the 2nd half of stanza three is that finite actions have infinite results. In a finite sense September 11th 2001 was simply a twenty-four-hour period of time, and yet no one can deny that these few hours brought about eternal consequences. Many lives stopped that day as a result of the actions taken by the hijackers, and many were saved by the heroism of the passengers aboard flight 93. We need to remember this truth every day of our lives. The things we do with our time and money are not finite, because they affect the lives and decisions of other eternal beings created in the image of God.

 

 

How waiting for winter inspires the yearly 9/11 reverie

But while we wait we meditate on mem’ries from the past;

Our minds recall the day we all were altered by the blast.

(Excerpt from the Prologue of the 9/11 Epic Poem)

As we begin the third stanza of the epic poem, the symbolism of summertime changes slightly. Now summer represents not only the nonchalance of the pre-9/11 period, but also that of the post-9/11 period as Americans tried to get back to thinking normal thoughts in the years after the attacks. But every year as we waited for the coldness of winter to  come upon us, we couldn’t help but remember the day when summertime in 2001 suddenly ended, and our outlooks on life (and human nature) were unexpectedly darkened.

The farmers dare to gladly share with all the neighborhood;

For now at last their fears have passed that harvest won’t be good.

(Excerpt from the prologue of the 9/11 Epic Poem)

The theme of a peaceful summer day is carried still further in this second half of stanza two as the neighborly genorisity of the farmers is emphasized. Unfortunately, the authenticity of this generosity can be challanged on the basis that it is only because the farmers have more than they need. The question remains: how generous would they be if a catastrophe hit them? Would they willingly experience hunger to keep others from starving to death?

September 10th 2001: the perfect summer day

At least for now there is no plow that’s tearing up the land:

The fruits of Earth complete their birth, received from God’s own hand.

(Excerpt from the Prologue of the 9/11 Epic Poem)

This stanza continues the theme of the perfect summer day as representative of the blissful ignorance that preceded 9/11. This mental image is one of the complete fullness of life, a time to rest in the fruits of one’s labors, attempting to forget that in just a few weeks all the fields will have to be plowed under for the winter cycle. Due credit for what has been recieved is given to God, because, as an author, it would be wrong for me to even pretend to ignore God’s responsibility for everything good that happens to us humans.

The Omen of Winter After the 9/11 Attacks

But in the end the snows descend from cloudy winter skies;

And lakes will freeze when all the trees are stripped of their supplies.

(Excerpt From the Prologue of the 9/11 Epic Poem)

This second half of the first stanza of the poem describes not only a typical North American Winter, but the spiritual and moral disaster that many people anticipated after the September 11th attacks. The dark side of human nature had reared it’s ugly head again, and everyone knew that war was coming.

The 9/11 Attacks Challenged Our Sense of Security

In mid-September ev’ry year when corn is six feet tall,

The days of summer seem secure against the threat of fall.

(From Chapter One of the 9/11 Epic Poem)

For those of us who live in the Midwestern United States, summer time represents bounty and security. That’s why I opened the September 11th poem the way I did. The 9/11 attacks seemed to usher in the close of summer that year. For many of us it ended (at least temporarily) the sense of security that had been growing for our nation ever since the end of the cold war. We had forgotten that there were still forces in the world that wanted to take us out.  September 11th brought with it the War on Terror and the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. For many it seemed like the brief summer was over and winter was coming back.