Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: september 11

Piqued

Last week’s Piqued involved MUSIC. And sure enough, right after I put it up, more new songs came pouring in… so I’ve included them below. This felt like a long week, where we had a lot of free time, but didn’t do much with it. Eh, it happens. The weekend is pretty packed (our newly married friends had a booze-cruise-without-the-cruise party to help finish up leftover wine and beer from the wedding, and we have plans to rock climb at a new-to-us spot) so I’ll take a quieter work week.

First off, I heard All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor on Spotify and thought it was adorable, and hella catchy. So here is the original video: All About That Bass.

Then my sister sent me this video of Jimmy Fallon and The Roots performing the song with Meghan with only school music class instruments (Fallon’s background vocals absolutely make this version).

But my favorite version is Postmodern Jukebox’s where Kate Davis not the song is not only swinging with fantastic vocals by Kate Davis, but shes ACTUALLY PLAYING A BASS.

Then, H and I were driving to the climbing gym last Saturday and Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj came on and I sort of freaked out. I don’t normally care a whole lot about pop music, but this song was catchy, had killer vocals and I wanted to hit repeat as soon as it was over. Plus, I freakin’ looovveeeee Nicki Minaj – I have no idea why – but it could have something with Superbass ruling my bachelorette party.

In other news, I found this blog Reading My Tea Leaves and am enjoying reading through the archives, especially the Life In A Tiny Apartment series, especially especially b/c H and I just watched Tiny: A Story About Living Small and I may be a tad obsessed with staying living in ~900 square feet or less.

I like to stay far away from trending topics (see: NFL players beating their wives, Joan Rivers dying, and anything related to politics) so it’s hard for me to see the social media barrage on September 11th (I chose to write a poem for 9/12 this year). But I did see a tweet by a woman who claimed she was trying to return a photo she’d found at ground zero… for 13 years. So, I retweeted it. And then saw last week that the woman succeeded at finding the owner of the photographer and the people in it. And everyone is safe & sound. Yay social media!

Lastly, this article on Accidental Creative about staying inspired.

If you want to remain productive and have ideas when you need them most, the stimuli you allow into your mind are important. Because creativity is essentially the combining of existing bits of inspiration into something new, the quality and relevance of your inputs will often directly affect your creative output.

Todd Henry suggests asking (3) people you admire what’s inspired them lately and diving into that media a little bit each day. Not only is this a great idea to cultivate what you take in creatively, but it’s also a great question to ask in conversations in general. And there’s nothing I like more than good conversation.

See all Piqued posts.

 

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The Day After

September 12th

I remember that day,
as we all do
And I remember the day after.

The sky a crystal clear blue
The air crisp but warm
the way it is with
summer in September.
The school field glistening with dew.

I’m sure I was wearing
some big knitted sweater,
the kind that you paired
with Birkenstocks
and twine bracelets
and smelled like wool.

Earthy + itchy + full of love.

I’m sure my parents went to
work that day,
though maybe my mom stayed home,
folding load after load
of laundry
in front of the endless news cycle
of a plan crashing into a
building
on a
loop.

Even though I grew up on Long Island
I didn’t understand
what or where the
“Twin Towers” were
But as we walked outside
with our science lab supplies,
off to collect samples of
dirt, or ants, or leaves
I remember smelling something else
on the wind
Like hot tar or burning rubber.

And my science teacher, in her bravery
to treat us like adults said,

“It’s the city burning.”

We were only 50 miles away
from it all.

And that is when it became real,
this weight that I carry
as a high school kid
from New York
the day after the towers fell.

A Symbol, A Gesture

I never forget, but it’s hard to remember.

Was caught of guard last night when I saw the date was September 10th. Here in Los Angeles, where “your feelings change but seasons never do” (Sherwood) it’s difficult for me to feel the date. Is it August or March? It’s hard to tell. I grew up on the east coast, where that one week of shifting sun in August leads to the brisk breeze of September. You can feel it, in the sun, in the wind, in the noises at night.

Even after 7 years here in LA – I don’t.

But this morning I was reminded of the importance of the date when I saw this flag hanging from a neighbor’s balcony. Didn’t take her as a political person, but then again, neither am I. And I appreciate the symbol, the gesture, the recognition.

So, I send love to those who lost someone on that day, and I send thanks to those who rescued, rallied and held vigil. I am so grateful for this life here in SoCal, and I’ll always be a New Yorker at heart.

Let’s Hear It For New York

I wasn’t going to write about 9/11, but this came out in my morning pages today…

Yesterday, I heard this woman on NPR speak about her husband dying in the World Trader Center attacks. I still can’t fathom all of that completely…

I was at school, senior year. 17 years old. It was 1st or 2nd period. I’d made an excuse to go to my locker, to skip class for a few minutes, when I saw a friend in the hall. He’s an anarchist, so when he said something about NYC being attacked I thought he was joking. Even having grown up on Long Island, I didn’t understand where the towers were or what “an attack” on them could mean.

He pulled me into the principal’s office where news coverage was streaming on the huge TV mounted in the corner. I don’t know how long we were there, but we ended up back in class, AP Environmental Science (which we affectionally dubbed APES). By that time another friend, who always arrived late with dramatic flair, had appeared with a video tape of the morning news that he’d captured at home and brought in.

Rumor was a kid or two in the Middle School had a parent there. Maybe there were announcements and / or an assembly but I remember we were told to just go to class as normal. Then I was in the AV room – they had small TV monitors the could access cable on.

Back then I didn’t have an iPad, iPhone, iPod. We couldn’t get on a computer. I didn’t even have a cell phone. Did I call home rom the payphone and Mom said we should stay at school? Did I go and try to find my brother, who was in 10 grade, or my sister who was in 8th grade? My memory runs blank.

Eventually we did get home. School seemed business as usual though the day probably fell apart. At home I don’t recall my parents looking worried or talking about it. The guy I was dating at the time, secretly no less, came by my house. I remember being outside in the cul-de-sac with him, the sun setting behind him, a slight chill in the air. He’d gone surfing that morning with a friend and then his friend went to work in Manhattan. He hadn’t heard from him all day. I don’t think we ever did.

We went back to school the next day to our first APES lab period outside. It was humid, but cool, the sun just starting to burn off the dew. We could smell something burning. Our teacher informed us in her delicate English accent that it was, in fact, NYC smoldering. She also made it a lecture point to contemplate the health ramifications of being anywhere near Ground Zero.

We heard of friends’ siblings walking across the bridges to get home, especially my one close friend’s brother. The days were odd and scary. Off kilter, moving in a haze. The world changed. But then I was caught up in the biggest web of my life and any matters outside of my own minuscule high school head didn’t matter. The person I was Summer 2001 was lost until this year, 2011.

So in a way, this is a 10th anniversary for me, because I can only related to these tragedies from where I stand. I didn’t know anyone who died. I didn’t become politically embroiled or torture myself by rereading stories from widows or 911 calls. My survival instinct went into overdrive and I avoided it. All of it.

But I’ve always felt myself a New Yorker first, and an American second, so it’s intriguing that 10 years from the day my home was attacked, I find myself in Los Angeles. And loving it. And leaning more and more towards staying here. Or that it’s taken me 9 years to come back to the self that I shot off from back then. That I’m more me now than I’ve been since I was 17.

But that’s all for another post. For tonight, I’m relishing the first Jets game of the season, being in my own home with my fiance and doggie, and so grateful for all of those people who rallied, rescued, supported, saved, walked, and died that day.

Let’s hear it for New York…