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Healing the scars of New York

Shortly after the twin towers came down from the New York city skyline, it felt to me as if a great fissure opened up under the city. It ran from Ground Zero, up through Times Square and Central Park and all the way into Washington Heights. That great gaping wound has slowly been healing over the past decade but now I can't help wonder if the partying on the edge of that hole in the ground yesterday, where hundreds of people's graves were made, may reopen that wound.

I was about to become a mother here in New York for the first time when it happened. My son kicked and rolled inside of me as the fighter jets circled overhead, and a few days later just as the firemen and rescue volunteers began to give up their hope that any more survivors could be found under the wreckage, he was born.

When hundreds of thousands of people poured into the city in protest, in anger at the war about to be waged in the Middle East, I was angry at their fury. I kept thinking about that great gaping wound under the city and how much it needed to be healed - not pounded upon. Even though I didn't want the war either. Go take your anger elsewhere I kept thinking. Hold your anti- war rallies and anti- terrorism marches someplace else. Hold your political conferences and vengeful rhetoric in DC in the halls of congress, but not here, not yet.

The day the first bombs dropped on Iraq in what was referred to as the "shock and awe" campaign, I lit a candle and nursed my son and thought of all the other mothers around the world nursing their babies at the same time, especially the mothers in Iraq and Afghanistan. I didn't want my son to grow into a world of anger and hate, of revenge and war, where one person is pitted against another. I wanted my son to grow into a world where he and all his future neighbors around the world would be safe and secure to be exactly who they are. I wanted my son to be safe to be American. The angrier everyone got, the more they fueled the fire not put it out.

Yesterday, as the throngs of revelers poured into the city to pound the earth with their celebrations, I felt sick to the stomach once more. Yes the man Osama, the architect of so much hatred and slaughter against all that is good; in both the Muslim world as well as the western world has been taken down. There is no doubt that justice has been done - whether we believe he should have been killed, tried in court or not - Yet, if you wish to celebrate, please take your party elsewhere.

My son is nearly ten now. His best friends have parents from all over the world and we consider ourselves proud to be New Yorkers. Proud to be living in North America. When family and friends encouraged me all those years ago after 9/11 to return home to Europe, I stayed here in New York because I wanted to see the city return to the way I felt it had been once, a beautiful glorious example of what America should be at its best: diverse, accepting, a space to breathe in which each and everyone's dreams had the potential to come true. And so, I nursed my son and happily, proudly have watched him grow from here.

When the towers first fell, hundreds of people came to Ground Zero to circle the site in prayer and mourning. Today I wish hundreds of people from all over the world, would come and circle that site again: only this time let us circle that hole in the ground in prayer and healing.

Comments

AchiengNas's picture

Peace maker

Tina,
You are a peace maker and a great mother, despite all your child went through in the womb, he came out a social being. Congratulations for his worldwide network. Thank you for sharing your personal experience and your world experience with us.

Love,

Beatrice

I believe everybody has the potential to live a better life. Given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation ANYONE can become someone admirable. Nobody is a NOBODY, everybody is SOMEBODY.

Tina's picture

Dear Beatrice, I am very

Dear Beatrice,
I am very moved by your comment. Thank you so much for reminding me of the globally conscious gift I have been able to give my children by living here. It is easy to lose perspective when we are in the midst of things. We celebrate Mother's Day in the US this weekend; a day to celebrate our mothers and our motherhood, and your comment is a wonderful gift to me for that day and all the days ahead. Thanks again.
Tina

Jensine's picture

Glorious and true!

Such a blessing to hear your voice again here Tina - STRONG and TRUE. Healing poetry for the psyche of a city.
We love you.

Jensine Larsen
World Pulse

Tina's picture

Jensine, I am so honored and

Jensine,
I am so honored and blessed to be here and to have you comment on my work! I love to hear from you as always. Thank you for your kind words. "Healing poetry for the psyche of a city." Yes! that is what was needed and it is so lovely that you saw my writing that way. Thank you for seeing that.
With love
Tina

Gloria Laing's picture

Amen!

Amen! Amen! A thousand times, Amen!

Tina's picture

Amen sister!

Amen sister!

Carrie Lee's picture

Healing Words

Thank you for writing this and sharing it here. The image of all the babies (American, Afghan, and all across the world) at their mother's breast is one that connects us all.
So beautiful are your words!

Carrie

Tina's picture

Dear Carrie, I wanted to

Dear Carrie,
I wanted to create an image that connected us to women all over the world, an image that we can all relate to. It is so important to me that we don't forget that this tragedy and its aftermath affected (and continues to affect) countless numbers of women, children, their husbands, fathers and sons. It isn't just New York that is scarred in fact, there is much healing to be done all over the world now, I hope that we can come together somehow to help facilitate that soon.
Thank you so much for your comment
Kind Regards
Tina

Ruth Beedle's picture

Yes!

I wept with the news of the killing of the man that caused so much horror and sadness. At first it didn't make sense to weep for a man who wouldn't/couldn't weep for the death of innocent thousands. But the truth is that there is no joy in the demise of any child of God, wherever they live and however they choose to live their lives. Thank you for expressing what I didn't see on Sunday night - sobriety and an attitude of peace and equanimity.

Tina's picture

Peace and Equanimity. Yes

Peace and Equanimity. Yes thank you Ruth. Those words say it all.
Kind Regards
Tina

Fungai Machirori's picture

Lovely

Tina,

Thank you for this insight into something that we, at a distance, can never fully understand. I hope for healing, indeed. Osama being dead does not mean terrorism dies. He is just a symbol, not the essence of what terrorism is.

from today i live out of my imagination
i am more than my yesterday
tomorrow i plant a new seed
nothing that lies behind easy
nothing that is ahead real
my within is all i have today
*Napo Masheane*

Tina's picture

Dear Fungai, It is lovely to

Dear Fungai,
It is lovely to hear your words and I am glad that I have been able to offer you another perspective on this difficult issue from my tiny corner of the world. I agree, terrorism is not dead because one man has been killed, just as a war is not over because one general says it's so. I believe, sadly, that these types of tragedies can live on in people for many many years, even in generations of their descendents, unless a healing takes place. I very much hope healing comes to this city as well as in all the other places affected by Osama's terrorism and the destructive aftermath wrought by all sides. It is much needed and as long as we all come together somehow united, a healing may happen as needed.
Kind Regards
Tina

warona's picture

Amen sister!!!!

Dear Tina

Hold on Tina............you know the devil is a crazy liar............! The initiator of trouble over is no more. Though there might be wolves there in a sheep skin, their power of terrorism will be nullified. So many people are in celebration with the death of the man who caused pain and death to the innocent. Not knowing why he didnt channel his concerns in the right rather than to cause havoc and confusion. The persecution has been massive and so distructive. As well so traumatising.Thank God for all the people who stood in prayer for this matter. For in God we trust, God is the hope of this world today. He made it possible for the killer to be caught and in this manner all mankind finds it well, even to pronounce that justice has been done.

Thanks for pouring your heart out.

All the best

Warona

"success will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time " And when confronted conquer with love

Tina's picture

Thank you Warona for your

Thank you Warona for your thoughtful and insightful comments.
Kind regards
Tina

olutosin's picture

Hi Tina

So beautiful to read from you again.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

Tina's picture

Dear Olutosin, So lovely to

Dear Olutosin,
So lovely to hear from you again too my lovely lovely lady. Love your new profile picture by the way!
Love, Love, Love
Tina

usha kc's picture

Dear Tina,, you poured here

Dear Tina,, you poured here a real feeling from the core of heart,,, I appricaite your feelings and ur beautiful writing,, really touching.

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