Advice worth pausing for

Today’s a day when we remember and reflect on the violence thrust upon us as a nation and many people as individual human beings on that clear blue-sky morning of September 11, 2001.

A few months later I quoted Christoffer M. Carstenjen from his own website. Chris was one of two from the English/Morris dance communities killed. He was on UA flight 175 enroute to join a group of bikers for a ride up the California coast. Reading it today, I realized that much of it is now advice I pass on to younger co-workers and friends. Let’s resolve to live and live fully and well every day for as long as we have.

Best of all…..

Keep healthy, wealthy and wise. Your job is important, but don’t live for just your job! Keep active and an open mind. Practice random acts of kindness. Complement someone each day. Listen to all sides of a story before making a decision. Don’t be afraid to admitting on being wrong. Learn the meaning of Life. Try, please try, to live within your means. Don’t worry about saving money for your kids’ college costs, it means lots more if they pay their own way. Save at least 15% of what you make for retirement. Try to meet someone new everyday. Ann Landers really means well. Plan for the future. Listen and surround yourself with positive people and speakers. Don’t let the turkeys get you down. Write when you get work.. :-)

Take care,

Christoffer
aka Sir Sword Boy , The Porch Guy, and Mr. Wonderful

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September 11, 2017

REMEMBER

Photo by Pearl Yee Wong of the Michigan State University Museum

This year there is a lot of news chatter that is hurricane-related, understandable of course, but the September 11 reports have an oddly historical feel about them. We continue to remember and take the time to memorialize and to remember.

I grabbed the last Sunday Times
You stole my cab
We waited forever at the bus stop
We sweated in steamy August
We hunched our shoulders against the sleet
We laughed at the movies
We groaned after the election
We sang in church
Tonight I lit a candle for you
All of you

from — “Nine-Eleven” by Charlotte Parsons

Not On My Watch

This morning there was some yelling in the car when the news reported some high-up-somebody trying to fly the Sept. 11 flag to convince me why we had to shut out foreign visitors and refugees. Yeah there was yelling. STFU. You don’t get to fly that flag. Not that flag.

On the way home tonight this popped up in my playlist (see below) and I thought about what’s going on. Yes I was very sad in 2001 and I’m still sad – at all the innocent lives lost and the state of the terrorists’ world that would allow them to bring such violence.

But I’m not shutting down my hope and belief in freedom and peace because of an idiot’s yelling about fear and terrorism. That’s not what our country and people is all about. My facebook feed is pretty much all news reporting, suggestions on actions to take, who to write, where to go, opinion pieces, with some breaks for funny (or biting) cartoons and some art and kittens.

So yelling big-wig (ha! ha!), not on my watch. No more doing things in my name without my approval. I don’t approve.

I signed up for “World Peace Poetry Postcards” for February and hope to send postcards not only to the other writers on my list but to people who are supposed to be watching over the country, doing what’s right for the citizens, protecting the core values of the Constitution. I’m sure there all so overwhelmed that none of them will read my postcards. My hope is that maybe a postal worker will. Maybe a congressional staff person.Maybe the person who takes out the trash. Maybe that card will bring them a moment of peace, a little bubble to surround them even briefly. To give them strength.

We all need it.

September 11, Fifteen Years Later

REMEMBER

Photo by Pearl Yee Wong of the Michigan State University Museum

Last year I wrote:

I’ll be spending today quietly, thinking and doing “normal” things. That’s always the contrast isn’t it, what had been normal and this instant where the world becomes something else, something unknown until now. Something perhaps unimaginable but now sitting quite real in the world, alongside us.

This year I think there is more contrast and need for more reflection and I’m glad to be home for the day, trying to do normal things again.

September 10, 2001

In 2001, I’d been up visiting my parents at Brant Lake for a few days. I was considering a big life change and had gone to get away and think about it and to make a decision and plan. I’d brought my quilting – our guild’s challenge for that year, due later in the month. After the meeting I blogged:

This year’s challenge was to make something that involved a ninepatch block. And to tie it somehow to a famous line, bit of poem, title, song verse etc. We had lots of entries this year, from very traditional to not. I won second place in the unfinished category for my amish nine patch. My theme was “Order from Chaos.”

I was making a quilt based on an Amish crib quilt seen in the Esprit collection. I decided to make the nine patches with one inch squares and had them almost done when I got to the lake. Mom and I had fun sewing together and I made a lot of progress. On September 10th, I sewed the central section together and I was quite pleased with the effect.

The next morning we were waiting for our quilting friend Joan and her family to come for a visit when my brother called with the news of what had happened in New York City.

Many years later I took out the quilting I had started and requilted the whole thing, ending up as Summer Seen From September, 2001.

Sunday, August Is Flying

When I got home tonight, there was still the August Postcard Poetry Fest poem to get done. Earlier today I’d responded to a post on Facebook and thought and then forgot about the line which I thought, at the time, would make a great inclusion in a poem. I was a good way down the poem when I remembered! Yeah coffee! So the poem includes the line

the red caboose of contentment.

Because who could resist that line?

At the meeting, someone pointed out an actual slide from an actual Macworld keynote… I knew where my July 2001 badge was. It hangs over my desk. At some point, I had put my old-new name on it again, but everything else is as it was, before the world changed.