Wisps of smoke still rise, the dust has mostly settled, the skies are still eerily silent.
The waiting is over, and we have received word that two friends were among the innocent victims of Tuesday's surreal attack. Many in our community mourn them.
Chris Carstanjen was a passenger on flight 175, which crashed into one of the world trade towers. Steve Adams, a fine chef and wine specialist, recently moved back to Manhattan to work at theWindows on the World on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center.
Steve and Chris, dancers on the Marlboro Men's morris team based in Amherst Massachusetts, did not plan to meet that day. An early English form of ritual dance, morris dancing is a celebration of life, music, traditional dance, the land, and friendship.
Our friends shared their love of life with many each spring, through New England's annual morris celebrations. One unwittingly flew to his doom, the other, awaited his in the tower on September 11. Neither has been found.
How can we remember them, honor them?
I think any response to this horrific act of outrage, and the only fitting memorial to our friends and the thousands of innocent victims on the hijacked planes and on the ground, must represent the enormity of their loss: the loss of life's precious fragility and the simple joys our friends and their unfortunate compatriots will never know again.
I will be sick at heart if those two audacious towers are rebuilt, thrust like defiant fingers up into the heartbreakingly blue sky, with business continuing, as usual.
Rather, for Chris, for Steve, I would hope that that pile of rubble and all of the lost humanity it contains will simply be buried in sweet earth, and planted with flowers, native grasses, perennials, one for each of the lost. Trees should shade the earth. Paths should cross the greenspace, and a reflecting pool might reflect the sky, the empty space where the towers once stood.
We could create a place where friends and family might come together, meet, and find peace. Perhaps one day there will be morris dancers, and wherever they are now, Chris and Steve will hear the bells and be glad again.
A green space, a green heart in the midst of the world's busiest and most impatient city, where all could come, open their hearts, remember their lost loved ones, hope for peace, and resolve never knowingly to harm another soul.
Sally Shaw, a mom and morris dancer
©2001 Sally Shaw, Simon Pipe, Mark Rogers