(last edited on April 29, 2014 at 1:27 am)
I was visiting NYC just a few weeks ago, and rode the Staten Island Ferry for the first time. I found the sheer scale of NYC breathtaking in both its architecture and volume of people. The city, even on a mellow weekend, felt magnificently alive. I have never seen the World Trade Center in person. A friend pointed out its general direction from the ferry, and I took a picture; the shadow shows where I think it was approximately located.
I am feeling a blend of emotions running through me today…anger, rage, sadness, resolve, grief, and back to anger. As an individual I feel somewhat powerless to effect change on a large scale. However, it is also as an individual that I can be effective, by interacting with one person at a time to build a strong community of my neighbors, to persevere in the face of evil.
That is what I must never forget.
One of the last things I did before moving from NY to the west coast was to take the Staten Island Ferry across and back, at night. The city is an amazing sight from that perspective.
Your photo is haunting. I still remember waking up to the news sometime after 6 am here, my mind struggling to grasp what was happening, to make sense of the words coming out of the radio. Impossible.
You should not feel powerless for what you cannot do, but joyful for what you can do. The more seemingly impossible the task, the more joyful the completion. Feeling powerless is, in itself, a disempowering emotion that pollutes adjacent opportunities. If you get all down because you cannot solve the Darfur or Isreal-Lebanon problems, you are missing more tractable opportunities, perhaps a little closer to home.
When faced with insurmountable tasks, I just put my head down and start workin. It’s amazing how much distance you can cover when you just start moving.
Carolyn: Thanks for sharing the memory. I’ll have to take the ferry at night sometime too, someday.
Dean: I think that’s what I’m saying, in a different way, by focusing on individual action. Both feelings work together, I think, the larger-scale problems, and the smaller scale “closer to home”. The way I think of it is that wars are definitively won on the ground, hand-to-hand, street-by-street, city-by-city. The same principles apply to building peace and community…start with the people that are around you.