Saturday, September 11, 2010
Trying to do better
It is a beautiful day here today on this anniversary day. It is, of course, the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It is also the anniversary of my blog, which was started late in the evening of September 11, 2005. It was unplanned, like so many things in my life that have turned out so much better than I ever dreamed.
I was up late, as I usually am. I am not a good sleeper. I was reading blogs and I wondered to myself, "how do you even set one of these things up?" Curious, I clicked the little Blogger icon up in the corner of the blog I was reading and got a page that said "create a blog." Like Alice, who, without hesitation, bit into the "eat me" cake, I clicked, and down the rabbit hole I went. I followed each step until I got to the instruction to give the blog a name. I tried a few things like "journal", "my thoughts," etc.—I was not feeling very creative and of course everything I tried had been taken. Then I remembered that in my earliest days online, as a member of a quilting list serve, I had added the line "and sew it goes" to my signature. It wasn't taken and my blog had a name. I wish it were simply "and so it goes" without the cuteness of the "sew", but what's done is done and that was probably already been taken anyway.
I had no plans for this blog. I just started and wrote about whatever, always using photos because that is really what I like to see. The blog captured me. It made me want to do it well. I am still trying to do better. I am trying to be a better writer and to take better photos. I'm like most of us, I think—always trying to do better. Day by day, that's what we do.
Earlier this week I was with a group of women, and we were playing a sort of game where we answered a question determined by the color of the M&M we were holding. The idea was to learn more about each other. One group got the question, "what has made you grow as a person?" The first responder was silent for a long time, then she said, "loss." She went on to talk about how painful it is to lose our parents, friends, jobs, health, money, plans. Loss seems to be a condition of our generation. You can become mired in grief, bitter and angry, or you can try to do better and discover ways to live with the loss and find deeper joy and meaning in the present.
Where am I going with this? I was winding my way back to the subject of the anniversary of 9-11-01. Loss. Trying to do better. It has been nine years and many of our countrymen are still mired in anger and revenge —seeming, in fact, to be nurturing and growing their hatred and blame and spewing their poison on the airwaves and in the news . I am frustrated and sad and fearful about the ugly picture being painted of us, as a people, by these bitter and ignorant voices. We have lost more than the twin towers. We have lost trust. Aren't we more compassionate than this? I think most of us are. Can't we do better?