Thursday, September 29, 2011

Writer's blocked

I don't know anything right now.

Nothing is happening and everything is happening. I'm slipping into boring but spiking on not-so-boring-but-too-not-boring-to-tell-the-internet. I haven't lived any stories lately that should grace TtheD and I've lived too many story-ettes to remember them long enough to write them down.

But I do know this much:

I'm in week four of a six week binge of nightmarish work assignments. Each one is more horrific than the last. I get a day or two reprieve of not being completely slammed and then, once I'm mildly comfortable, I get slammed again. It sucks. I'm tired. I'm pissy. I'm starting to get really mean at work again.

And I know I can't drink very well anymore. I mean, when I'm DOING it, I'm fantastic. I'm so much fucking fun to be around you can't even believe it. But then the next day I'm dying slowly on the couch with no motivation to do anything but sleep and sometimes get up to go to the bathroom. It worries me because I'm not that old. Oh wait. Maybe I am.

I know I need a pedicure, bad. During one of those stories I can't really tell you about I somehow ripped my pinkie toe nail down to the quick and since I have brown polish on them right now, it looks really dumb. I know I'll get one Saturday, but I also know I want to bring my neighbor to the farmer's market because he's never been there. And that I want to get my errands done early so I don't have to deal with Beaverton in the rain. But you can only do so many things in a morning. And that sort of gets me down. Like walking around with half a pinky toe nail. Same kind of down.

I know too that right now it's 9:15 and my bed time is getting earlier and earlier. Because my get-up time is getting earlier and earlier. Because my go-to-work time is getting earlier and earlier. Because I am in the cycle of hell work-wise, and there isn't a whole lot of light at the end of this tunnel. Yet.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never forget that, either.

(Seriously? Has it really been since August 22? Woops.)

I got up at around 4:30 this morning because I had to take my nephew Cody to the airport - he'd flown in for his first game at Autzen as an official Duck. It was dark and when it's dark I always get sort of introspective and lonely. It's also 9/11, and because of that, this weekend I've been thinking about that day ten years ago a lot.

I'm seeing a lot of posts on Facebook about "where were you" and "never forget". It's haunting to read them, and brings me back to my own experience of that day. What I remember most is how, in the days and weeks to follow, we as a society were a lot more mindful of one another. We looked at strangers as though we were friends, we let people in front of us on the street and in the supermarket, we held elevators and opened doors for others. And we looked each other in the eye - always in the eye. Searching for that commonality, and finding it. We were in this together, and it was sobering and scary. A bunch of my friends and I went to the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest the next weekend wearing our US flag tshirts and stopping on the freeway to light candles with strangers, and late in the night we formed a line, arm in arm, friend next to stranger, and marched down the middle of the festival singing "God Bless the USA". We watched footage, we scoured newspapers, we swore we would never forget.

But I kind of think we may have forgotten already.

Not the events of 9/11, not the loss of life, not the sacrifices of the fire- and policemen, not the news coverage that brought the horror into our living rooms and office lunch rooms. I'm sure no one will ever forget that. But I think we've forgotten how we felt about one another, the brothers-in-arms-ness, the we're-in-this-together-ness. Slowly we stopped being mindful of one another, eventually we stopped letting people cut in front of us. We stopped looking each other in the eye and went back to being mindful only of ourselves and what was ours.

I guess it's human nature - you can't expect that kind of consideration when life goes on, can you? Every day the work that needs to get done gets done because we are on track, focused, driven to get out there and get it done. Slower paces drive us crazy and time is money. But really, I still got just as much done ten years ago today, this week, this month, when we were still reeling from the shock of it, from the fear that formed the solidarity we as Americans felt. I still finished my errands, and got to work on time, and pleased my clients just as quickly and efficiently as I do now, while I'm not necessarily being mindful, when I know the other person isn't being mindful, of a sense of community, of that we're-in-this-together-ness.

The sentiment remains: Never forget. It was a terrifying and confusing time, and we WILL never forget. But I propose we also never forget the effect those events had on each of us, and try to remember that solidarity, that mindfulness, and that consideration of our fellow countrymen.