Category Archives: Universal Soul
I wrote the text below on the one year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. I re-read this every year, and today, its message rings so true… “at a time in our history where the world is truly small, we can no longer allow our self appointed interests and egos to drive our actions within this world community“… Please read. God bless us all.
September 11, 2002
In reflection of all that has come to pass, and with hope in all that can potentially be, I have slowed my world down today, to observe. I have witnessed emotions’ range and have felt the deepest sincerity in all that I have taken part in. For me, this one-year milestone, of the tragedies of September 11 2001, has left me with a longing that I must share.
This morning’s sunrise was quite profound. As I sipped my coffee, looking eastward out of my breakfast nook’s window, I was greeted with a broken sky and the rosy edged clouds from last night’s rain. Gray and gentle giants stretching toward the eastern horizon, gently kissed by the dawning sun. The sky held the deepest blue and set my view in a very powerful background, providing a triumphant and yet foreboding setting for the red, white and blue of the morning. My mood seemed to match, as I felt reassured by our nation’s collective resolve exhibited over the past year, and yet I felt apprehensive in the light of on-going struggle. As I sat in silent reflection, the words of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address played through my mind. “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” I sat mesmerized.
My radio was on in the background, and as if called by my own will, New York’s Governor Pataki initiated the memorial service at ground zero with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The clouds outside my window seemed to change their color in response to his words, providing a balance of gray and white, while the sky’s deep blue lightened a shade, yielding a canvas for hope.
Moments later, former Mayor Giuliani began reading the names of the victims of the attack on the world trade center towers. Gordon McCannel Aamoth Jr., Edelmiro (Ed) Abad, Maria Rose Abad, Andrew Anthony Abate, Vincent Abate, Laurence Abel, William F. Abrahamson, Richard Anthony Aceto, Heinrich B. Ackermann, … The victim’s faces, those I could recall from the web pages I perused last year, began to drift through my mind’s eye. The tears began to come and I began to realize how much we have lost. Lost lives, broken families, and lost loves. As a nation, we are different now. We have realized, most likely for the first time that we are not an island of security. That our financial and military power is not what differentiates us, but that which makes us unique, and subsequently, that which poises us as a target of such acts of terrorism. I also realized that we have gained. For through our learnings of such experience, we have found a new resolve that echoes old values, such as those our very nation was founded on. And in such, we have gained temperate understanding of just how precious this life truly is, and how diverse and distressed our world society has become. In this, I believe, we can proudly say that we stand alone among our allies and enemies, for our nation exhibits a worldly sampling of all nations, all cultures, and all beliefs. Our lives and values are based in true freedom, founded in trust and honesty, and are exhibited through peace and compassion. And in such, we extend a greater love through our exhibition of this understanding. This diversity is of our design, driven by our desire, and forms the very mettle that identifies Americans as people of natural determination and resolve.
And yet, we are a delicately contrary people. For as we stand upon the virtue of such great values, we allow our gains and successes to wrap us in what we perceive to be our own personal, impervious lives. In times when our successes are at their greatest, and our challenges small, we exhibit an almost ignorant selfishness. We ignore our neighbors, we throw frustration upon our fellow citizens in traffic, and we seem to migrate to a gluttony of extremes. Our drive is focused upon financial growth, more service, less cost, and a need for exponential improvement. I believe that our behavior, associated with such perceived successes, is the very element that fuels the hatred of those we call our enemies today. Ironically, it is this same behavior that was once perceived to be the enemy of our nation’s founding fathers, and to that point, that which has brought us to this day of memorial. How ironic.
The radio’s reading of the names of the lost was only interrupted long enough for other memorials to begin, or for moments of silence to be observed at the very minute, one year ago, when the trade center towers collapsed. Three very distinct and individual memorials, New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville Pennsylvania, yet all rang with names of victims, lost lives, lost loves, and broken families. Tragedies beyond belief. Through the constant of remembering, through the tears and tightened throat of reliving the pain and horror, I made my way to a place in my town where Mozart’s Requiem would be played as part of a rolling national endeavor to promote healing and remembrance.
The daylight moved to deeper tones of color. The low hanging clouds grew gray, yet the daylight beyond became brighter and more brilliant with blue. Even a few little spits of drizzle managed to mix in. All seeming to reflect my mood, and hopefully the moods of others. Others who, like myself, were needing to reconnect, acknowledge the pain and loss, and take from that, some magic and secret element to fuel understanding for the world we now live in.
As I parked my truck and began to draw the will to move myself into the heart of the day’s sorrow, I found that I could not extinguish the sounds of the radio, still reading the names of the more than 3000 individuals who lost their lives that day. It seemed like an eternity had passed, yet the alphabetical reading was only in the “C’s”. Jose Cardona, Dennis M Carey, Edward Carlino, Michael Scott Carlo, David G. Carlone, Rosemarie C. Carlson, Mark Stephen Carney, Joyce Ann Carpeneto, Jeremy M. Carrington… Somehow, I managed the resolve to wipe away the tears, and moved myself from the truck and toward the theatre where many of my fellow citizen’s hearts would hopefully throng, along with the music, and mine.
I found a seat near the back, which was elevated, and provided a large view of the theatre. I sat alone while the hall slowly filled to near capacity. Many of the faces that began to sit around me were solemn, sorrowful. Yet so many others were taking this performance as if it were an event of opportunity. Around me, through voices overheard, were people frustrated with the remaining seat selection, people with agendas that were driven away from their busy lives. I heard comments complaining about the reading of the names during the memorial services in New York City, comments spoken in frustration that television news coverage had forced them to endure such monotony and such a waste of time. I found myself shocked that such selfish and cold comments could be made at a time when human compassion and understanding should naturally prevail. Only few around me seemed to be here to mourn, or reflect. My witnessing of such brought on a great sadness that we, as collective survivors, do not cherish what we have learned, and what we have lost of life and love, through today’s echoing pain.
As the lights dimmed and the music began, I recognized the seed of a longing that only then, I realized was growing inside of me. I realized that in the moments of the greatest tragedy ever encountered on our nation’s soil, was contained the truest and most sincere outpouring of human compassion and love. For it is the desperation associated with great tragedy or great need that drives us to acts of heroism, kindness, and sacrifice. It is this great human capability that I long for in my daily life, and the true reason that I came here today, to find it, and to claim it. Not to account for and own for myself, but to capture and echo as a prayer for all mankind to recognize and hold on to these values as operators in our daily lives. As people of any society or congregation, we truly long to embody these virtues in our own behavior, yet we distort our understanding of our own desires by way of our societal driven needs, perceptions, and the manner by which we market ourselves to ourselves.
As the greatest national power on the globe, and at a time in our history where the world is truly small, we can no longer allow our self appointed interests and egos to drive our actions within this world community. Our nation was founded from the phoenix of past tyranny and societal selfishness, and now, again, we tender that same negative inertia and believe that it is good. For the greatest thing we have gained as a result of the September 11 attacks, is that we are now placed center stage and in a position to truly show the mettle of our collective soul. Our worldly place today, whether we accept it or not, provides us with the greatest opportunity for leadership that any nation has ever been afforded. As such, our true calling is to act in the manner of behavior that provided foundation for our nation, molded our value system, and provided our compassionate acceptance of this world. In the name of all past tragedies, moments of great desperation and heroism, we must hold on to and exhibit these values in our every day lives. We must embrace and exhibit this deepest compassion, love and understanding if we truly desire to lead our global society beyond these days of malice and hatred. For the fabric of our very existence is now openly exposed, and calling for our own regeneration, urging our success and evolution. Without which, well, here we will be again, regretting past tragedy, memorializing our loss, and praying for a future peace, as nothing more than mere children of histories’ repetition.
J. Blue September 11, 2002
Time slips in sips of passing vibrant life
as age bends to tend this quiet immortal wife,
yet waits escape in poignant water’s cool relief
drawn to shallows hallowed shore, counting out the brief
spent lives, resting on the oars.
photo courtesy of public domain
Eternal spiral feeding,
soul and life returned,
drifting through the ashes,
another year so aptly burned.
Changing only morsels,
mixed amongst the grandest sweeps
of what it was, how it was,
and where it haunts the things it keeps.
Change, renounced reflection,
pronounced in halls of history’s fade,
twisted through accepting winds,
echoed life in all that’s made.
Subtle twists of fabric,
deep and rich in all that’s turned,
drifting whispered ashes
upon the hint of what was learned.
Eternal spiral lift me,
friend, as such, through aging’s hold,
coil my spirit around me,
drift with me as days grow old.
Credit: ESA, NASA and L. Calçada (ESO); ESA/Hubble (http://spacetelescope.org/images/)
Poem for dVerse ~ Poet’s Pub : Prompt “Lookin’ Up”
Lillian was our host tonight and provided a very interesting prompt to consider. That of space, and more specifically, the imagination that might be stirred through the eyes and images of NASA’s Hubble telescope.
My crazy imagination led me through a galaxy of light and remarkable beauty, yet actually contained within the hearts of two in love. Enjoy!
Be still sweet love, my heart be thine,
yet in this breaking moment trips,
for here suspended ‘midst the stars
are hidden dreams in furrowed rifts.
With deeper reach than echoes ring
from angel’s tenor’d voices,
does span the depth of life unknown,
filled rich, imagination’s choices.
O dream, I drift immortal space
without the truth of reason,
stir deep within each molecule,
hanging science, caught for treason.
‘Til silence, dear, poised to hark
no ear beyond this beating heart,
cast drifting in the whispered waves
of dust in us, in every part.
Exalted swords of light be thine,
my love be drawn in fevered chase,
transcending past love’s sparkled sun,
left golden on her face.
And as the moment’s ether lags
to bend one second back to home,
our temporal kisses, softly hushed,
leave hints to where our hearts may roam.
Strewn across the empty lea,
in ribbon frayed and broken,
a tiny path runs from the woods,
in steps of time, in whispers spoken.
The summer grass recedes in bows,
homage to the years gone by,
demarking every thought there,
every mark a cobbled sigh.
My eyes peer from October woods,
my heart in longing feels the tone,
ochre, amber, velvet brown,
the season’s scent, the ancient loan
that burns the colors through the dale,
retreats in aging silver grey,
steely eyed and captured cold,
stark against the rill in play.
I find my melancholy heart,
aching, longing setting in,
as crisp the autumn winds reveal
the sweetest scent, the saddest sin.
For as this aging lingers,
as quickly as it stops me cold,
this lea is all that matters,
this path and all its stories told…
In summer’s fold they tarried,
in waist high grass they danced and sang,
laughing, loving, holding hands,
silent woods in echo rang.
Here upon the forest floor,
they fell together leaving all,
igniting life’s elixir sweet,
heeding love as lover’s call.
Yet prattling winds betray their time,
suspended in October’s hush,
returns a shy and sacred kiss
upon a hue of lover’s blush.
The sun denied to shine,
yet balanced grey across the scene,
in hint of coming winter snow,
a lonesome breeze rolls through, serene.
The shadowed woods deny my stead,
a sheltered voice stems high,
leaves and rustling brush rejoice,
as with his mare, a boy strides by.
A ghostly apparition,
opaque and fine as cobweb’s spin,
his words unto the aging nag
are soft and kind, sweetly thin.
Upon the rugged path they step,
into the lea, into the stream,
as errant rays of sunbeam fall,
releasing sparks of silver dreams.
Across the drying autumn grass,
a scent of barn, of oats and hay,
wafts my tensile senses through,
begging me to stay.
Alas, my moments falter,
my stage as witness through this time,
measured in the living,
counted meters of this rhyme.
This life reflects in pausing,
where truths run thick in histories’ hold,
begging none go quietly,
urging strength in growing old.
And so it is I tarry,
softly strolling o’er the lea,
whispering quiet simple truths
here in the heart of me.
Day recoils in silence. Autumn’s warmth gives way to dusk.
Beneath this meadow’s elm I pause, released in freedom from the husk of what this life’s become.
Summer wanes in crescent waves shaped to crash on winter’s shore,
haunting sweeter memories, from here within my open door as soul reflects the sum.
Golden sparks of eyelash glint through whispers of their closing,
that as the long rays reach for me, this tired mind retreats in dozing, beneath an ochre sky.
Subtle breezes, hushed and curved, kiss wisps of hair in amber glint,
draws an easy charcoaled line around this space where pausing’s spent, shyly asking “why?”
This gift for quiet passing, this time where I belong,
is all my heart is asking, heaving sighs in weary song, as praying just to stay.
Suspended weightless, bathed in dusk, the nightingale decries her mate,
comes to me on rush of wings to ease my passing state, till echoed light drifts grey.
Till darkness does enfold me, till crickets warn the length of night,
I wake to find my lonely peace draped o’er my arms in sparkled light retrieved from evening’s dawn.
Now calmly through the lea I stroll, pausing, counting, dew’s sweet scent,
toward home and bed my steps oblige, emptied in the moment’s spent and carried on her song.
How did the stain of past life find its place upon this silent grave?
What aged the emerald crescent’s arc, kindly blotched the written stave?
What of its words and heartfelt kiss
that left a summer’s rain amiss?
What countenance divine embraced
this site befitting, this resting place?
Through what redacted soulful truths
did heaven ride to seal the proofs?
Who stood upon this sullen ground
in saddened prayer, in whispered sound?
What happened here? Who knew the scene?
What time sustained and held between
the moments of the resting?
What moments from the fight?
Who stoops above this sacred stone,
in haunt and love each night…?
Spill me o’er the crystal falls where eons stretch to hold!
Kindly beckon courage from the iron will in stories told!
Grant me one last flight on wings above the alpine valleys low!
Spill my heart between the seams where mountain shadowed waters flow!
Dance my spirit o’er stormy tops in fields of azure skies!
Dash the color from the wounds there left beneath these fading eyes!
For all that I experience,
I am the subtle cause!
For all that I endure through life,
still grows a purpose from the loss!
Oh! Bathe me white in frozen streams!
Echo hearts’ resplendent joys!
Although I’ll leave as silvered man,
I lived here as a boy!
Golden ochre steeped in time,
aged by every season’s crime,
twined through burnished lacquer’s rust,
recalling each last sunray’s lust,
and every blue jay’s call…
Here it sits in still refrain
beneath the willow’s sweeping mane,
here imbibes in summer’s wine,
cast between these reaching vines,
that too, each year recall…
Among this life in moments stalled,
drifting cries of summer fall,
merge the glad of waiting dusk
with laughter from the day’s sweet musk,
and so record it all…
In grains of oak now tarnished brown,
in rusted bolts and furled crown,
in baked on mud upon its feet,
together aging perfumes sweet,
so sits here proudly small…
in whispers, beckons all…