Turtle's Progress

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rest in Peace

For the past few years on September 11th, I have spent some time in prayer and contemplation and then read this poem aloud.

REST IN PEACE
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
I am a World Trade Center tower, standing tall in the clear blue sky, feeling a violent blow in my side,
and I am a towering inferno of pain and suffering imploding upon myself and collapsing to the ground.
May I rest in peace.

I am a terrified passenger on a hijacked airplane not knowing where we are going or that I am riding on fuel tanks that will be instruments of death,
and I am a worker arriving at my office not knowing that in just a moment my future will be obliterated.
May I rest in peace.

I am a pigeon in the plaza between the two towers eating crumbs from someone's breakfast when fire rains down on me from the skies,
and I am a bed of flowers admired daily by thousands of tourists now buried under five stories of rubble.
May I rest in peace.

I am a firefighter sent into dark corridors of smoke and debris on a mission of mercy only to have it collapse around me,
and I am a rescue worker risking my life to save lives who is very aware that I may not make it out alive.
May I rest in peace.

I am a survivor who has fled down the stairs and out of the building to safety who knows that nothing will ever be the same in my soul again,
and I am a doctor in a hospital treating patients burned from head to toe who knows that these horrible images will remain in my mind forever.
May I know peace.

I am a tourist in Times Square looking up at the giant TV screens thinking I'm seeing a disaster movie as I watch the Twin Towers crash to the ground,
and I am a New York woman sending e-mails to friends and family letting them know that I am safe.
May I know peace.

I am a piece of paper that was on someone's desk this morning and now I'm debris scattered by the wind across lower Manhattan,
and I am a stone in the graveyard at Trinity Church covered with soot from the buildings that once stood proudly above me, death meeting death.
May I rest in peace.

I am a dog sniffing in the rubble for signs of life, doing my best to be of service, and I am a blood donor waiting in line to make a simple but very needed contribution for the victims.
May I know peace.

I am a resident in an apartment in downtown New York who has been forced to evacuate my home,
and I am a resident in an apartment uptown who has walked 100 blocks home in a stream of other refugees.
May I know peace.

I am a family member who has just learned that someone I love has died,
and I am a pastor who must comfort someone who has suffered a heart-breaking loss.
May I know peace.

I am a loyal American who feels violated and vows to stand behind any military action it takes to wipe terrorists off the face of the earth,
and I am a loyal American who feels violated and worries that people who look and sound like me are all going to be blamed for this tragedy.
May I know peace.

I am a frightened city dweller who wonders whether I'll ever feel safe in a skyscraper again,
and I am a pilot who wonders whether there will ever be a way to make the skies truly safe.
May I know peace.

I am the owner of a small store with five employees that has been put out of business by this tragedy,
and I am an executive in a multinational corporation who is concerned about the cost of doing business in a terrorized world.
May I know peace.

I am a visitor to New York City who purchases postcards of the World Trade Center Twin Towers that are no more,
and I am a television reporter trying to put into words the terrible things I have seen.
May I know peace.

I am a boy in New Jersey waiting for a father who will never come home,
and I am a boy in a faraway country rejoicing in the streets of my village because someone has hurt the hated Americans.
May I know peace.

I am a general talking into the microphones about how we must stop the terrorist cowards who have perpetrated this heinous crime,
and I am an intelligence officer trying to discern how such a thing could have happened on American soil,
and I am a city official trying to find ways to alleviate the suffering of my people.
May I know peace.

I am a terrorist whose hatred for America knows no limit and I am willing to die to prove it,
and I am a terrorist sympathizer standing with all the enemies of American capitalism and imperialism,
and I am a master strategist for a terrorist group who planned this abomination. My heart is not yet capable of openness, tolerance, and loving. May I know peace.

I am a citizen of the world glued to my television set, fighting back my rage and despair at these horrible events,
and I am a person of faith struggling to forgive the unforgivable, praying for the consolation of those who have lost loved ones, calling upon the merciful beneficence of God/Lord/Allah/Spirit/Higher Power.
May I know peace.

I am a child of God who believes that we are all children of God and we are all part of one another. May we all know peace.

1 Comments:

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Joyce said...

Thank you Terry, for this most important, from the heart, message. This needs to be read by all.
I love you.... my friend,
Joyce

 

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