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I was sitting here yesterday, thinking about the fact that I'm going to meet some friends for lunch today, and thinking, "Hm, is that okay? Should we be more somber, more observant? After all, it is 9/11(/11)."

And then I read this post from SB Sarah: http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/comfort-in-common/ And I thought, "You know, I don't hold myself back to somber observance on Memorial Day. I don't hold myself back to somberness on Veterans Day." I observe and it is important to me to think about those days, and what they mean --I put out a flag on the former and a wear a poppy on the latter-- but I do not stop my life. I knew I wanted to observe. But I had gotten caught up in the idea, the media spin-storm of being told how I should observe...as SB Sarah said, of how I should feel.

And so, I got up this morning, later than is my norm, much as I was doing 10 years ago, and I came downstairs, made breakfast and turned on the news. I came into the middle of the reading of the names --it takes from 8am to 1pm to read 3000 names-- and the last moment of silence occurred, and I cried. I surprised myself by how much I cried.

I'm distanced from this event, though, a feeling that you'll hear others say. Distanced is not separated, however. That day, I was running late for a graduate class, and by the time I got to the library, everyone was very confused. The first thing I thought, beyond what am I seeing, was to call my father and make sure my cousins and our family friends were okay. It took us a long time to get through to them, but they were luckily fine. But distanced is not separated. We all know someone. All of us. Moreover, we all knew this was a thing that meant things would never be the same.

What I am feeling, however, and what I think is reflected in the comments on the SB post is this: the things that never should have changed: love, family, community -haven't. It's okay to be angry. It's okay to be sad. And it is very much okay to be happy.

And, if we're going to tell anyone how to feel today, let it be that we say to be happy, to make this country and this world a better place. We have a long way to go, but I'm still happy to be here.

"Happiness lies ahead for those who cry; those who hurt, those who have searched, and those who tried, for only they can appreciate the importance of people who have touched their lives." -Attribution unknown


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September 2017

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