Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Meditations On Nine-Eleven

Call this a prayer. Call this a meditation. Call this an afirmation, sermon, an essay, whatever you like. This comes from my heart, and is something I've been meaning to say for a while:

I am not afraid.

In the days immediately following September 11, 2001, as I watched the plume of smoke rise off the rubble pile and glad-handers and hate mongers scramble to find some way to exploit the deaths of thousands and the loss of naivete of Americans, I was scared. As I watched the empty hospitals, devoid of casualties, I was terrified.

I remember sitting in my office that Friday, September 14, as the building-wide PA system clicked on announcing a bomb scare. It was time to evacuate.

After the initial scramble to gather up the few necessities...a wallet, cellphone, keys, making sure others got to the fire exit safely...I stood in a crowd waiting my turn to walk the stairs, not sure if I'd make it out of the building, and if I did, what awaited me there.

I could take a deep breath, and I sobbed. And then walked. The heat was dreadful, bodies packed the steps, and it was a hot and humid day, a rainy late summer morning.

An hour later, I made my way back to the building. Miracle of miracles! The bomb scare was a phony, the elevators were running and we all got back to some semblance of work.

But I am not afraid anymore. That single sob, that single teardrop on my cheek, was the only concession I've made to my fear, six long years ago.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid of Al Qaeda, of Osama bin Laden, of Hamas and Hezbollah. I am not afraid that they can, and will one day, attack this nation again. Some may die, most will not, and by God's word, the next time we'll have a President and a people prepared to handle it like adults.

You took our innocence. You will never have that same result again. I am not afraid.

I am not afraid of George Bush, Dick Cheney, or Karl Rove. I am not afraid of Republicans and their lickspittle blogosphericals who harass and chide anyone who thinks for themselves when it comes to the direction this nation is headed. I am not afraid that they will do anything and everything they can to impose a reactionary, antediluvian agenda that turns the clock back on hundreds of years of progress in this nation.

You cannot succeed. You will not succeed. America has seen behind the curtain of hype, advertising and marketing that shoved an illegal invasion down our throats. We're pretty full, and about to explode. The blowback won't be pretty.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid of the TSA, the NSA, the CIA, the DEA, the FDA, the FBI, the DHS, or the IRS. I am not afraid because ultimately, my freedom will prevail, even if I may not be in any shape to appreciate it, if even around.

You can take nearly everything from me, anything I might value. You can strip me naked, decide I'm some criminal, force me to the streets then arrest me, take my friends from me, and create a mythos about me. But you cannot take me.

I am not afraid.

I am not afraid of the fear-mongers, the mind-rapers, the heart-stabbers, the soul snatchers, who would parade fear around to sell newspapers or cable TV shows, while ignoring the very truths about themselves.

I am not afraid because I know, the American people know, that these jackasses are trying to scrape the bottom of the barrel for every last viewer and dollar that they can, and have sold their very beings to that end.

We pity you and laugh at you, not with you. Your words are meaningless, your thoughts inane, your shrieking "Talking Points" speak more about your own wet diapers than of our supposed inability to hear your Chicken Little screeches any longer. You miss the bigger picture because you are incapable of wrapping your pea-brains around the truth of the world: you've contributed to so much degradation and contumely in this nation that you, too, are now victimized by it. You've inadvertently Hannitized yourselves for our protection.

I am not afraid.

I will never be afraid again of this world that has been created around me by naked greed and hideous envy, for I am stronger than any of you who would see me buckle and bend to your hatred. I will be true to my soul, and true to my heart, and will fight you with every breath in my body and with every fibre of my being.

And long after you have gone to dust, long after I go to dust, the monument to truth and peace and freedom that I have added a few miserable pebbles to will stand tall and firm as a bulwark against the dark you attempt to bring to the world.

And it will have these words enshrined on it: I AM NOT AFRAID