It was just another Tuesday, and I was just another 15-year-old sophomore in high school.
My mind had little regard for anything except girls, sports, what I’d eat for lunch and how I’d get through math class.
I didn’t have a cell phone or a driver’s license.
I was nowhere near New York City or the World Trade Center.
Terrorism was just a word.
I’m 32 now. Things are different.
I know you might skim this story on your cell phone. I know you might be too young to remember what happened.
Maybe you weren’t even born.
Maybe all you know about Sept. 11, 2001, came from what you’ve seen on social media or heard in history class.
My friend wrote a column about Sept. 11 last week, in which she made a wonderful point about what I remember most from the the day’s aftermath. I’ve thought about you since I read it. I thought about you again this morning, when I saw an Instagram post from a history teacher who had students interview someone who has a clear memory of what happened 17 years ago today to help them see a different picture of one of America’s most disasterous days.
I’ll never forget what unfolded in those hours.
If you can’t remember, and you have a minute to spare, I’d like to try to take you to a time when the history you’ve heard was just heartbreak. Continue reading →
On the first day of February, 2017, a new game was invented.
After I read a coworker’s haiku, I said, “I bet if you give me one word, I can make a poem out of it.”
Thus, the game was born.
Recently, in what I took to be a challenge, I was given the word “kumquat.”
So I wrote the following poem called “The old card trick.” Continue reading →
It has contained many stories, and through it their pages come alive with language.
It has heard the voices of veterans, who told tales of fighting for freedom. It has replayed soldiers’ shaky tones as they remembered comrades who didn’t come home. It has documented the struggle and strength of a brave boy who refused to back down or give up throughout a long battle with cancer. Time and time again it has been a megaphone for those who have overcome obstacles and triumphed in spite of tragedy.
It has contained many stories, and within it their essence is preserved.
My 100-word posts are inspired by a WordPress blog called All of 100. The authors of the site, which has been operating since 2009, committed to write 100 words a day – no more, no less. I decided to take up the challenge because I thought it might help me write more concisely. It is more difficult than I thought.
Two years ago today, I was on the way to a routine doctor’s appointment. What met me when I arrived changed me, and my community, forever.
Continue reading →