I was at home, preparing for another day that was delayed because of an early dental appointment, blissfully unaware of how life was about to change. As I did every morning, I turned on the television to find out what had gone on in the world overnight....
( After that it's all just flashes.... snippets of memory. )
Nothing - at this point in my life I've heard just about all of the possible painful insults and if it didn't kill me the first time someone called me that, it won't kill me this time either.
Mind you, if you insult someone I'm with, I will get mouthy and I'm not afraid to start a fight.
I still love the one I have - 1997 Nissan Maxima SE. It looks good, goes fast if asked, has heated seats for winter, is reliable (except when I'm not), has been low maintenance, and just generally overachieves in everything I could possibly need out of a day to day automobile. I'd buy a new one if I could and if I liked the rear profile of new cars - what's with the too high to be useful as a window rear windows lately on cars?
Otherwise, I'd really like to have a Dodge Challenger or Charger (I like my sedans) or a Lincoln MKZ. I guess my tastes do still run towards American cars. Hmm. Odd that!
After a terminally serial fail set of LJ cut fails, I'm just going to retry this entry all together. Apologies to anyone who was lost in the initial ramble.
I actually had answered this question as one of the first entries I made in this journal. It made sense to me to explain it at the time, though I can't be sure why I felt the need. I'm not always sure I understand my motivations for anything, even when I think I understand them. I'm going to (carefully) copy the original explanation in this post under a cut and pray it doesn't end up as messed up as the last time I tried to get it to work.
( By any other name... )
It's little wonder given the relative disaster of his life and mine comparatively that I really identify with him. There are a lot of places of overlap - enough so that I sometimes wonder just how unique my life really is when it seems as if the writers of this show have reached right into my brain for the character.
I'd want to be a large maple tree or elm or some big tree like that on the edges of a park or green space and just exist without worry about the things that make up my day to day life. For one day I could enjoy the breeze and sun, listen to the birds and kids and cars, exist in the simple joy of existing with each day the same as the last.
I have a list.
- snails and any other slimy thing
- anything land dwelling with more than four legs - ants, spiders, mutant chickens/turkeys
- anything other than plants anyone eats on those survival shows which covers most of the above
- those duck eggs in Oriental cuisine - the ones with the half formed embryos inside
- anything that smells like it's already been eaten and partially digested
- organ meat, especially kidney (god the stink!) or tripe
I have to add to this list Chef Boyardee anything. I remember wanting it as a kid but never getting it as we couldn't afford it. If we had it, it was usually over at someone else's house. I bought a can for nostalgia's sake a while back and was appalled at how absolutely horrible the stuff was. The advertising is much better than the product.
Can we get a real question please?
Seriously, I'm really sick of these sponsored questions and their inanity. I can only assume that's because I'm not in whatever demographic the analysis has told them LJ offers them. My feedback - Please stop trying to sell me stuff and give me more thoughtful questions for Writer's Block. Thanks.
Memories may influence my initial reaction to a situation where I need to make a decision, but I try to make decisions impartially. It isn't always easy and it sure as hell depends on the situation - that is to say, I'm not going to obsess over having a muffin or a butter tart with my coffee because as a kid I loved the homemade butter tarts Grandma made in the same manner as I am going to obsess over approaching that pretty face in a coffee shop that reminds me of my first date.
I think the painful memories are the ones that teach us the most. They're painful precisely because they have gotten in under our skins and made some change in us. If we discount the painful memories in making big decisions, we're missing out on a hint to a valuable lesson and personal growth.
Let's liken it to picking up a hot cast iron pan from a stove barehanded. If you do that once, you will probably NEVER do it again. The pain will teach you a lesson - do not pick up hot pans without oven mitts.
Painful emotional memories seem to me to be teaching us a similar lesson. Speaking from the best teacher - experience - I have to admit it takes time to get to the point where you can embrace the painful ones to learn the lesson. Once you do, you're better off and a little wiser for the lesson learned.
I was just passed a comment from a friend's Livejournal friend that says it so much better than I ever could.
"Forget the media driven hype, the politics, the prejudice; remember the lives lost, the firemen, the brave men and women of New York, remember the sense of community as all the world rallied around to help, remember that this is a day to be revered, respected, and mourn. You don't need to forgive, or forget, but respect for humanity is what this day is about, not hatred or intolerance. We are better then that."
Yes, Nicole, I believe we are better than that and thank you for giving me the words to express how I feel when I can see only the tragedy.
This day will always mean more to me than some think it should. I'm not American; I wasn't affected directly by the tragedies; and yet, I was profoundly changed.
I remember vividly how I felt that day but only in flashes.
I remember my confusion at why there was an action movie on all of the channels on the television. Then the slowly dawning realization that it was all real as the second plane hit.
I remember being glued to the television, praying that there would be a miracle and that there was a hope of rescue.
I remember feeling numb, a numbness that shattered when the television cameras showed the people who made the choice to jump instead of being burned alive.
I remember feeling horror and being unable to turn away and feeling sick that that had been their last best hope of escaping the flames.
I remember my rage at the media for showing them falling and replaying it endlessly.
I remember bursting into tears as the towers I had once stood under in awe on a whirlwind trip to NYC crumbled to the earth. I cried for the loss of what was left of my innocence in a cascade of suffering felt around the world.
I remember the sorrow I felt when images from the other side of the world surfaced that showed them celebrating the tragedy, because I knew that we were all complicit in the situations that led to this being the only way the radicals of one religion felt they could be heard.
I remember in the days following the fear everywhere on the earth under the silent skies.
Most of all, I remember the clear blue silent sky overhead, unmarred by the passage of man, and my broken soul trying to parse it all and failing.
Later that month, I had a nervous breakdown that led to the loss of everything I was working for at that point in my life. Nothing much about the life I had been pursuing - the typical consumer driven lifestyle - mattered anymore. To tell the truth it still doesn't because as horrific as that day was, it changed nothing about how humanity dealt with one another. We still need someone to talk to - people we see, for whatever reason, as being our kind - and someone to sweep the floor, those we have arrogantly labeled as inferior.
I will never forget. And in doing so, I pray that my remembering helps keep another day like this from happening. I am more afraid of extremists of all religious and political stripes now that I have seen how faith and fervour can lead to tragedy. I'm not a man who believes in God. Maybe once there was a time for that but it passed. But I viewed the world through romantic eyes - that is to say that I believed in the fundamental goodness of humanity to do the right thing and help each other - and this is the way that I have been changed by this day... I still believe that just not as strongly as I once did.
I want to believe.
I just can't.
But I will always remember.
I will never forget.
The why however is a little less so... but still able to be summed up fairly succinctly in a quote from Eames in the Law & Order: CI episode "Silver Lining".
"He's like my partner, who just wants to be left alone to do what he's good at: catching bad guys."
I love my job and I am good at it. I just want to be left alone to do it and thankfully the new company I work for is allowing me that freedom. I've got a Captain Deakins looking over my shoulder for once and it's good.