Griffin (griffinfaye) wrote in burning_man,

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London Bridge is burning down .. burning down .. burning down ...

When I saw the towers fall, I felt the world go up in flames. A burning away of so many illusions that I cradled, that so many of us cradle like miscarried children. I wrote these two entries in my journal ... it seemed appropriate to share with others.

Wake [11Sep2001|12:12pm]
[ mood | I don't know ]
[ music | Tori Amos - Precious Things ]

Is it a wake for the dead? Or waking up? Still the streets are empty; save only dazed and well-meaning phantoms, looking for the nearest Red Cross to donate blood. Outside my building, Tillary street is a temporary moveable garage, public busses commandeered to shuttle overworked firefighters to the 150' pile of rubble that was once one of the hearts of the city.
On my rooftop, the dirty and death coloured smoke, reeking of burnt plastic and asbestos, is beginning to lighten. I'm very afraid. This is the shock before the true reality begins to settle alongside the dust.
Tomorrow frightens me. Nostradamus frightens me. Flatbush avenue, usually bustling with the meaningless chatter of cars, is silent as death. I am as afraid of the madness of our so-called "leaders" as I am afraid of the faceless villains celebrating their victory.
I wonder what will happen. Flatbush's emptiness is littered, sporadically, with scraps of paper, discarded plastic cups from the water relief stations (set up for the thousands of wounded and dust-covered innocents forced to walk across the Manhattan bridge), little monograms and profiles of the latest and greatest local politician. Everything is gray. Gray smoke. Gray lives. As gray as a tombstone, just waiting for an appropriately and cleverly phrased epitaph.
My apartment is still unfinished. So many things are unfinished. I'm unfinished. Hell, I haven't even BEGUN yet!!
I am scared. I my mind, I can fly to the rescue, save the princess and defeat the dragons that threaten us all. Then the rhythmic screams of police sirens wake me to consciousness. I see just how impotent, how powerless we are; ants of glittering and fragile diamond, scrambling for cover under the feet of insane giants. Should I sit on my rooftop, looking for the next attack to come flying over the horizon on nuclear intent? Should I tell Her, whoever she is, how much I loved her? Should I resolve my perceived sins in the hopes of redemption before the end?
I will continue. Anxiety dominates our lives, it bleeds us dry from tears, and we lose those moments of fire, those moments of Love, that remind us of a greater beauty behind it all. I have obsessed too long on meaningless anxiety, will this person do that, will I succeed in this, does that really mean what it appears to mean or, ad inifitum. Thoughts like tar and whipcrack, binding us into painful contortions; obscuring beauty.
Do I allow this fearful conclusion to dominate my life? This anxiety of death by War is a bigger, badder version of my personal fears and challenges. Do I succumb to it, fearful and deluded, or embrace Life?
The world could end tomorrow. It's not just a saying anymore. It's time to start living our lives. There is beauty in the eyes of the blind, there is music in the ears of the deaf. With the arrogance of time taken away, we're shown just how precious, just how tenuous a grip we have on Life. I choose not to waste it.
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Crash and Burn [11Sep2001|12:12pm]
[ mood | anxious ]
[ music | the fucking horns blaring outside my window ]

I saw it.
It was ... it was horrible. We all stood on my rooftop, listening for
another plane. Maybe one carrying a nuclear weapon. The World Trade
Centers crashed to the ground before my eyes. I kept imagining the burning,
liquefying of the innocents trapped inside. Of the rubble and debris
crashing down on the emergency crews beneath it.
I heard from a friend about the plane in the pentagon. Hijacked planes.
With passengers. They're converted Bellevue Hospital into a command
center. This is worse than the oil crisis. Worse than the whole Kuwait
extravaganza. It will spread a layer of fear in the hearts of the world
like the Cold war.
I ... watching the smoke pass, I was convinced that I was watching the
passing of the dream of America. It's a very scary time for everyone. And
to think, I was supposed to be in Brazil :)
... ... there are things that change the way we look at the world, forever.
I was thinking about a numbness, last night, that inched it's way inside of
me. Slowly, but surely. How much I had deadened myself to certain facets
of the world around me.
I wondered how many others were woken up by this. Woken up to the
events happening on the world stage, that so many of the neuroses and
concerns that dominate our lives are just petty and meaningless ... wisps
and distractions that sink up deeper and deeper into fantasies of anxiety.
My friend Mike was in the building. We're still searching for him. My
sister, who usually holds meetings for office furniture within the Trade
centers, wasn't there.
She's usually there at least twice a week.
I stood on the rooftop, near Stephanie, who i've always had a crush on
... thinking about how much I wanted to stop. To hold her. To stand fast
against whatever dark future was coming our way.
About what really matters. It's a cliche, but it's a true one.
I don't know what will happen. I know this is the most terrible act of
War i've seen in my thirty years. I know i'll always remember the black
smoke, the half-imagined images of tortured and dying people, and the crash.
The sound of man's thunder, mocking the beauty of the storms not with
creation, but destruction. Standing on my rooftop, with a bunch of other
artists and students; listening to the roaring sound of jets in the air,
wondering if there was another. My sister told me of people standing in
front of hairdresser stores, huddled around a small television. Even now, I
can hear the screams of the emergency vehicles, running past the police
blockades. I can imagine all those paramedics, and imagine the rest of the
building crashing down on them.
This could be the beginning of World War III. I hope it isn't. I
really do.

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