Feet in my Shoes {a rethought 9/11 tribute}

Yesterday, I had planned to publish an entirely different post. A post in which the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy takes center stage and serves as the marker of my lost decade. Oh, I don’t know…something about how 9/11 is a symbol of a confounding period in my life when I took the easy path. Or perhaps along the lines of how I took a great ride out into the world, and then, just when things were getting good, I bought a ticket on the Rubber Band Express. I mean seriously, just jumped right on board and found myself once again standing in the exact place where I had started. Then, had a smidgen about how I hopped off that train, with my bags in hand, just at the precise moment when this nation suffered one of the most tragic chapters in its history. About how after that moment, I began a period of subtly hiding my face from this great world. Not in a way that others would notice. But you could find my true self huddled behind that no-payments-no-interest-for-most-or-your-lifetime sofa in a you-could-find-this-door-anywhere kind of apartment in a hand-me-down city long after the dust had settled.

But you see that kind of post is nothing but an exercise in the worst kind of self pity. The unaware kind.

I will now talk to myself for a brief moment…look away…this is a private moment…

What the hell? Do you really think that you cutting a boomerang back home and then being a itty-bitty bit scared and then generally being pissed at yourself in any way compares to the depth of loss that the families of those lost on that dreadful day or in the wars since have felt for the past decade?


So I decided not to post that self-obsessed version of what 9/11 means to me. Instead, I thought long and hard about the souls we lost that day here on our soil and in the days since on foreign soils. About the birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and then the Mondays, Tuesdays…and all other days ending in ‘day’ that those dear folks would never live to see. They were robbed of this precious gift by an unfathomable hatred.

What do I have that they no longer have? Feet in my shoes, breath in my lungs and my family in my arms.

So the best way I could see honor to them was to quietly begin to appreciate what surrounds me rather than viewing my choices as a consolation prize.

I will move the feet in these shoes, breathe in and love deeply.

And so I walked…

It is sunrise and right there are my size 8, extra narrow feet

I walked alone in the woods in the early morning light. As I walked, I thought about 9/11, its impact and about the foolish thoughts in the post as previously conceived. So many f-bombs, so much angst. The ‘lost decade of 2001 – 2011’, that is the way I saw it. The decade when two beautiful children came to be and grew day by day with two families that love them unconditionally. And that is lost? I realized that wasn’t a lost decade, it was a a decade where I found out how to love.

Oh, and then I found this old bridge…

Probably built by a Boy Scouts troop, don't ya think?

I almost made a reference here to how this bridge could symbolize crossing over to the other side in my thinking, but that would be a cheesy suggestion. Instead, I’ll tell you about how I remembered how much I love the way the woods smell.

If the internet could deliver smell-o-vision, you might be able to tell me if you agree. Instead, you will have to take my word for it.

Then I came over this hill and wow, I looked really tall.

I look like a hovering giant and I kinda like that...My torso looks so small on those giant legs.

Really tall…hmm…that is an interesting thing to be. Taller and wiser?

Maybe I did get on the Rubber Band Express. Maybe I did land these feet right back where they started. Maybe 9/11 did happen at that exact moment. But maybe, just maybe, the last ten years have been about growth in a different sense. About accepting a burden, applying a tremendous amount of hard work and coming out the other side – wiser, more vibrant and all grown up.

Maybe we all grew up. Maybe by being knocked down, we all grew a bit taller. Maybe, just maybe.


One Comment on “Feet in my Shoes {a rethought 9/11 tribute}”

  1. jacob stapp says:

    I think this post proves 2001-2011 were transformative years for you. Sometimes we get too focused on having not become who we thought we would or who we wanted to be, that we completely ignore who we are right now, today, looking in the mirror of the world.

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