Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meditation on a Tragic Anniversary

A radiant cloudless morning
_____ air fresh and clear
__________ sky the brightest blue
_______________ mood mellow
A lovely young day bright with promise ––

And then a gleaming silver shell appeared
_____ mirroring beautifully the morning sunshine 
__________ A Thing of Beauty –– but horribly out of place
_______________ like a spacecraft from an alien planet

Dipping crazily far too low upon the skyline
_____ before anyone could feel the menace ––
_________ it smashed directly into a gigantic upright construct ––
_______________ one of a pair ––

Twin monuments to Greed and Vain Ambition some were quick to say

But sudden violent death eradicated an entire investment firm
_____ in one horrific instant –– 
__________ dozens of bright young lives incinerated –– gone!

Before dazed onlookers could begin to understand what was happening
_____ another silver shell acting as a missile 
__________ crashed into the second of the giant pair.

Ugly buildings!  A hideous blot 
_____ on the once-graceful Manhattan skyline!

“Ada Louise Huxtable might secretly rejoice at this,”
_____ part of me though wickedly, for I had always resented
__________ the overbearing, outsized twins ––
_______________ bounders, interlopers, invaders!

But before that ruined day was halfway through
_____ three-thousand innocents had been
__________ burned alive, brains and eyeballs boiled 
__________ skulls pulverized, skeletons crushed
_______________ between twisting, white hot girders
_______________ pelted with falling rubble midst the flames
_______________ caught, crippled, crumpled, smashed to bits ––
__________ Smothered in collapsing stairwells and buried alive
_______________ in a torrent of red hot cinders and debris

In so many ways the scene must have mimicked the final hours
_____ of the residents of Pompeii and Herculaneum

And then there were those hideous echoes 
––––– of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire ––
Where so many jumped to their deaths
_____ to escape being burned alive ––
In an instant smashed skulls, broken bones and bloody pulp 
_____ were all that remained of their vibrant young lives ––
__________ and locked inside the ruined sweatshop –– 
_______________ cinders –– ashes and soot.

And just a year ago in Benghazi –– to mark the anniversary 
__________ of this Great Triumph of Barbarity over Civilization
_______________ our young, handsome, well-meaning, 
_______________ hopelessly naive, ambassador to Libya
_______________ was surrounded in his quarters, 
_______________ dragged out into the streets
_______________ beaten, sodomized and brutally murdered.

But what does any of this matter? What difference does it make?
_____ Let’s just forget about it, and MOVE ON.
__________ Might as well. 

We are privileged to live in interesting times.

Kyrie eleison!
Kyrie eleison!
Christe eleison!

~ FreeThinke 


  1. FT,
    A radiant cloudless morning
    _____ air fresh and clear
    __________ sky the brightest blue
    _______________ mood mellow
    A lovely young day bright with promise

    How well I recall those cerulean skies! It was a top-down convertible day! I was out early in the Mustang, which I had bought in February. Then the news came on the radio: "The Pentagon and the White House are being evacuated." My heart came up into my mouth! America was under attack!

    9/11/01 did not have to be a lasting Great Triumph of Barbarity over Civilization.

    Twelve years later, we see that it was. Look at all we have lost!

    Yesterday, I told my class that the resulting loss of rights and conveniences are the burden on my students' generation. They will never know freedom the way that my generation did. My students, most of whom were around age four on 9/11/01, were stunned when I told them that until post-9/11 we didn't have to take our shoes off to get onto an airline flight, we didn't have our purses and bags searched to enter a museum, and cameras were not watching us almost everywhere we go. Even my one boisterous student "got it" and sat in silence.

    Stay safe today. I can't speak for others, but I'm always nervous on September 11 every year.

  2. But more importantly, what are Beyonce and Jay Z doing?

  3. Aside from the cynicism expressed above, this is a somber day for those of us who lost friends and family.

    Thank you for this post, Mr. Free Thinke.

  4. "If a piece of the continent washes away, Europe is the less," Ms Shaw.

    Every one of us -- and our country as a whole, as AOW pointed out -- has suffered immeasurable loss in the wake of this barbaric attack on our territorial integrity.

    The comments of Bruce Bawer -- a prominent Gay Activist -- quoted from FrontPage Magazine at AlwaysOnWatch give the most eloquent and succinct analysis of what has happened to us in the past twelve years.

    Thank you for visiting, Ms Shaw. It's always good to see you here. Other people seem to prefer that we remain forever at odds and at war with one another. I think those people are very foolish.

    All Americans ought to be free to disagree without being at war with one another.

    And now I shall read your piece on your friend Mr. McCarthy, who from his picture looks as though he must have been a charming and most amiable fellow.

  5. Thank you too for visiting, AOW. I wrote a little piece at your blog telling you how much I appreciated your posting that uniquely beautiful choral version of Barber's Adagio for Strings.

    I'm sorry I just don't seem to have it in me to be able to cope with Bruce Springsteen in the same context -- or any context for that matter.

    It saddened me very deeply when you wrote to me privately that your class members have been so desensitized to beauty, subtlety, refinement and spirituality, and so "dumbed down" by the dominant commercial culture that they are utterly incapable of relating to Barber's Adagio.

    Of all the losses we have suffered in the past one-hundred years THAT -- to me -- is the saddest and the most significant of them all.

    It reminds me of the distaste and dismay I felt when Elton-on-the-John was engaged to sing that cheap, hasty adaptation of Candle in the Wind -- a meretricious song reeking of bathos, originally dedicated to Marilyn Monroe! -- at Princess Diana's funeral.

    For countless centuries the leading lights who created Civilization did everything in their power to RAISE the masses to HGHER levels of awareness.

    NOW, thanks to all the nefarious influences we have already talked too much about, our Leaders feel it incumbent upon them to PANDER to the LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR, because if they DON'T, they get tossed out on their butts. And THAT is the tragic flaw inherent in Dumbocracy.

    God asks us to love everyone, but the best way to love the Common People is NOT to get down in the dirt WITH them and revel in their vulgarity.

    Sorry! I just HAD to say it.

    Someone has to have the courage to be hated. I guess I'm elected. ;-)


    Three thousand innocent people died on 9/11—not all of them Christian, white Americans, by the way. People from many nations, and of many ethnicities and religious beliefs worked in those towers.

    Yes, we Americans were gravely sinned against on that day. But we have caused a lot of misery among innocents, too. Remember Hiroshima, Dresden, the Trail of Tears and other genocidal acts against the native Americans. Remember slavery, Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan, the lynchings. Remember My Lai and other atrocities we perpetrated in Vietnam.

    Remember Abu Ghraib and the many “renditions” of prisoners (many innocent of anything more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time) to countries where they are horribly torture.

    Remember the continuing murders of women, children, and old people by drone--”piloted” from the air-conditioned comfort of non-descript offices in northern Virginia by guys/gals who go home that evening to a nice dinner with their families; we Americans are big on family values—never mind the families that become “collateral damage” when we rain death from the Middle Eastern skies.

    Meanwhile the whole human race reigns a holocaust on the animals, the birds, the fish, and the environment.

    Humans are cursed creatures, and we Americans are no better than anybody else. Only richer and more powerful.

    Emma Maladictoria Goldenscheiss

  7. I'll never forget seeing that second plane hit the Trade Center. It is emblazoned on my brain. Such a waste of human life.

    Patricia from Jacksonville

  8. It was a great loss of life, and we haven't learned a damned thing from it. Hence my cynicism.

  9. TWO YEARS AGO to the DAY:

    _______ Only A Decade Ago _______

    One bright morning, now ten years ago,
    No one dreamt, while going off to work,
    Lunatics had planned to go berserk
    Yielding fury like a lava flow.

    A scant ten years –– an amplitude of woe ––
    Denial since that demons near us lurk
    Enraptured by sheer rage –– sharp like a dirk ––
    Craftily whetted in hellfire’s glow.

    A grim corrosion followed the attack.
    Demented perverts scheme to have us think
    Euro-centric values are at fault ––

    American prosperity is black ––
    Greed and gall have brought us to the brink
    Of seeing all we have come to a halt.

    ~ FreeThinke - 9/11/11

  10. Thank you for this. I'm printing it out and plan to keep it.

    Pat from NJ

  11. A cousin, who is a strict Roman Catholic of the Old School just wrote and asked,

    "Shouldn't the ending be Kyrie eleison - Christe eleison - Kyrie eleison?"

    I told him yes -- if I had intended to follow the standard liturgy. Instead I wanted to end by petitioning Jesus Christ directly, who is after all our only mediator and advocate with the Father and the Holy Ghost.

    If there is to be any hope for us at all, it could best come about through renewed and strengthened faith in Our Lord and Savior.

  12. Funny! When 911 happened I was not scared at all. I was just hopping mad.

    I happened to be in a waiting room at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland on 911. My first corneal transplant surgery was scheduled for that morning.

    I was watching TV waiting to be called into the operating room when suddenly all hell broke loose in real time right in front of my eyes. The sensation was SURREAL.

    There were any number of Muslim women swathed in black from head to foot slinking around the halls at Hopkins that day. All you could see were their dark eyes peering through the slits in their sinister looking black garments.

    I had to fight hard to stop myself from yielding to an irrational urge to assault several of these creatures after I realized what was happening.

    By the then Pentagon had been hit too. All hospital personnel were put on standby to help the wounded, so of course my eye operation was called off. I wouldn't have been able to go through with it anyway since I was so wrought up.

    I kept feeling this unreasoning urge to rip those black veils off their heads and knock some of those women to the ground. I've never been a violent person at all, but an almost uncontrollable impulse to commit assault and battery was simmering just beneath the surface that day.

    All I could think was "Get the the hell out of MY country, and STAY out, you filthy bitch."

    The Muslim women do STINK, you know. Apparently, they don't believe in washing or using deodorant or feminine hygiene.

    Of course I've always found Arabs extremely unattractive anyway. Their demeanor and bearing is just naturally repugnant. Sorry. It's just a fact. BUT, I had never given them much thought until that fateful day twelve years ago.

    Since then my flesh just crawls at the thought that ever increasing numbers are walking around free as the air doing their damndest to take over and dominate OUR country. And NO ONE in OUR government is willing even to TRY to lift a FINGER to stop them.

    I've despised George W. Bush from the day he mewled "Islam is a religion of peace" on national television. Any faith or trust once had that our government is in the business of protecting US and OUR interests evaporated in that moment.

    It's been like living in a madhouse ever since.

  13. Just for the occasion or are you back in business?

  14. It remains to be seen, Ducky. Probably the former, but anything is possible -- especially when one is running a non-profit operation.

    I've been getting over a hundred 'hits' a day ever since I shut down, believe it or not. Yesterday it was over two hundred, though few posted, as you can see.

    I was pleasantly surprised that only fifteen or twenty "hate messages" arrived in the moderation box yesterday. I had been getting an average of six to eight a week all along.

    So the proper answer to your question is "anything is possible, so keep on the look out."

    DId you ever listen to the Franck Symphonic Variations for Piano and Orchestra? It, the Sonata for Piano and Violin and The Prelude, Chorale and Fugue for solo piano are the works by Franck I think indispensable. Your musical life cannot be fulfilled until you've at least become acquainted with them.

    There are lots of recorded, filmed and videotaped performances available on YouTube. You can hear various versions of just about any major work that interests you -- or ought to interest you -- at no cost whatsoever.

    One of the GOOD things about technology. ;-)

    Thanks for visiting.

  15. I recall the day vividly and your expressions of the feelings at the time are remarkable.

    "DI" - a 91-year-old observer and admirer

  16. FT,
    I, for one, would welcome your blog's return. The reason that you had to shut down your blog disgusts me.

    I'm not the kumbaya sort, but neither do I believe in trolling and hurling feces.

  17. Thanks for the tip on Franck. I have listened to the Sonata but not the variations.

    I find him very "dense". Have to be in the mood.
    He seems to be a loner who never developed a school as many of the Romantics did. I could have easily bypassed him.

  18. That was a stirring and disturbing tribute you wrote. You sure have not lost your touch for writing.

    South Carolina Girl

  19. I'm so glad to see you back, FT. Your talent is very impressive. This piece moved me to tears. Sorry I didn't get to see it on the eleventh. I just happened to look in today.

    The sonnet you wrote on Friday the Thirteenth is terrific too. I can't imagine how you can take a name or a message, use it as an acrostic and then write a perfectly metered sonnet that makes sense and applies so well to the theme.

    Just wanted you to now someone really appreciates your abilities. You are beyond clever.

    Helen Highwater

  20. Thanks to all who made kind, understanding remarks.



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