"9/11 lives on in our bodies. . ."
That was the line that struck me the most hearing Krista Tippett's broadcast near Ground Zero today. Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary, talked about the ways in which that day is still with us in unconscious ways, ways that we sense but can't articulate or even fully access.
It encapsulated for me why I haven't felt the need to go to 9/11 memorial events or even read very much about the anniversary this year. Partly, I'm weary of the political posturing and faux patriotism that always seems to hover around the media's coverage. Partly I am more concerned about the famine in Africa and the climate crisis. But mostly I feel that I don't need to re-visit that day in order to know how it has impacted my life or my country.
When 9/11 happened, I was 28 weeks pregnant with our first child. I knew instantly that her world would be irrevocably shaped by this event. I remember vividly the silence when commercial planes stopped flying overhead, and the fear I felt when I heard what must have been military planes in the succeeding days.
I know 9/11 impacted my body, and therefore the child in my womb. Katie was born month early, and I've heard that premature birth rates were up that year across the country. The day after she was born, a plane crashed in New York City, and the news frenzy started all over again. But by then my horizon had changed. It was not about now, but about the future, about the kind of world we want our children to live in: a world of love or of fear, a world of wonder or of suspicion. I still carry those tensions in my body, and pray that my life will work them out for her sake.