Nine years ago tomorrow, things fell apart. We're still trying to put things back together. It's difficult, because, nine years on, we still can't find all the broken pieces and we still can't decide how they go together, and we're still fighting over how it got to be so bad that things fell apart, and we're still figuring out whether we need new pieces.
And part of the difficulties are the thousands of souls no longer here who were, nine years ago today.
And part of the difficulties are all the souls — hundreds and hundreds and unending hundreds of them, young and old, man and woman, deliberate and accidental, son, daughter, father, mother, fighter, non-com, ally and adversary — that followed those first ones into the dark.
And part of the difficulties are that what fell apart here was echoed and presaged and iterated and reiterated, before and after, like images in a puzzle of mirrors. all over the world. And now things are falling apart for people we don't know, oceans and cultures away, but it's all still connected.
It's hard to put things back together when the blocks we reach for may only be images in the mirrors of our own fears, or someone else's fears, or worse.
It's hard to put things back together when we can't agree on what they looked like before, or what they should look like now.
It's hard to put things together when people stand in the wreckage and glory in it, even as they hate everyone else standing in the wreckage and glorying in it.
It's hard to put things back together when people are shooting at us, harder still when our own hands are filled with guns and not blocks.
And love is not the answer, or at least not all of it.
Willingness to listen is.
Willingness to restrain our anger is.
Willingness to see the other.
Willingness to work hard to make the other see us.
Willingness to work hard, period.
Willingness to fail; over, and over, and over, until we get it right.
And it's hard, because we're not the only ones in the equation. And others have to learn those lessons, too, and how the hell do we convince them to learn, and help us find and fix the things that fell apart?
And then we need a break from the lords of chance and change, ensuring that everyone, on all sides, grows weary of salting the earth and burning the bridges and living in hate.
I don't know how to do it any more than you know, at least not all of it. That's the problem when things fall apart. None of us has one answer, one answer seems to be all we're looking for, and even if there was one answer, we probably couldn't agree on it, or bring ourselves to follow its dictates.
I do know what we don't need. Screaming over a community center or a place of worship. I found this particularly helpful. And I signed this. If you decide to do it, pass it on, would you?