A shell of protection, this choice I’ve made
To hide away indefinitely until
This fragile, silken wall peels
Away revealing new life.
The barrier is temporary and thin—
Easily broken when the time is right.
But now I must collect myself
Be still awhile
Take pains with my words, listen more,
Defy the urgency of unnecessary things.
Spinning this private insulation
Preserves me heart and soul
In these jostling, jarring times.
Whispered prayers for new life
to come as I emerge from this case
of gauzy gray.
All that remains
when death and destruction
are burned away and
new life comes on quiet, fragile wings.
I will fly, I will land, see the world
in a new way.
I will remember.
In September of 2001 my daughter and I celebrated her graduation from culinary school with a trip to New York City to meet Ruth Reichl, then Editor of Gourmet Magazine and author of 3 of our favorite books on cooking. We’d spent 5 glorious days in and around Brooklyn and on September 10th in the evening, met my nephew for drinks at the Windows on the World restaurant in Manhattan. A tremendous summer thunderstorm came through that night, lightning strikes, rain in buckets, we were soaked but dried out and took the subway home (I wrote about the kindness of the people we met that night here.)
The next morning was the day of our appointment. I remember a voicemail, ‘See you at 11 on the 11th’ , from Ruth’s assistant.
It was a crystal clear, blue sky day. And then the earth moved, the sky filled with ashes and paper glitter and we were forever changed.
When we returned home to Washington, I was in shock for about 6 weeks, although I didn’t know it at the time.
I couldn’t talk on the phone and cook dinner at the same time.
I had to be still whenever possible.
Simultaneous input verbally and visually was overwhelming.
I walked through the days wrapped in cotton and as I was able, gingerly wrapped words around that September Day.