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?

20 comments:

  1. Oh yes! I have to think we can do better. Thanks for you thoughtful post

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  2. The problem is that there are too many people who don't even think about 'doing better" - they think only of what they want, regardless of the rest of humanity. The redneck preacher who wants to burn religious texts has spent his life preaching hate - he isn't going to change now. I know I can do better, but I can't do anything about those who give no thought to others.

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  3. Beautiful words, Terry. I do think that so many are doing better but those who aren't are getting all the attention.

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  4. Thank you for a thoughtful and thought-provoking post. I hope we can do better.

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  5. Marcie2:12 AM

    I agree, those who speak with hate sell us all short, and forget that there were Muslims, too, among those who died. And Jews, Christians, Buddhists, and people of many persuasions - human beings all.

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  6. Synthia5:24 AM

    Well said, Terry. You not only write well, you are a good thinker.

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  7. A view from outside the US - there are good, bad, wise and stupid people in every nation. Sensible people don't blame a whole nation for the actions of its stupid and bigotted citizens, but those who want to see fault, will use any excuse. Just like day-to-day relationships really.
    I'm gald you started your blog,Terry - a good deed in a naughty world!

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  8. we can do better. i really believe it!

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  9. Thanks for sharing your well spoken views Terry...you eloquently explain what many of us feel!

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  10. I think these same thoughts each day as I witness acts that hurt someone; something.

    There are days when I have to turn off the news because I am ashamed of the people in power who are saying and doing things I never would have voted for them to do. Not a good sentence.

    I just keep being the best person I can be. Hoping that more of us will eventually succeed.

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  11. We have to do better. Thank you for your words.

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  12. Such a lovely, insightful post. I love reading your blog. Happy anniversary, Terry. Keep it up!

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  13. You are such a role model for many of us Bloggers, who publish regularly but are not always thinking about how to improve what we do. I think you can be very proud of your 5-year effort! I hope to be reading this Blog in another 5 years.

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  14. These have been awful times in general lately. So much hatred and anger and, frankly, stupidity. It makes me feel sad and worries me that so many are perfectly willing to destroy others for such selfish, ignorant reasons. Often, it reminds me of badly behaved children.
    I love reading your blog. There is always something to learn and you already know how I feel about your work.

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  15. “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
    -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

    Serendipity strikes again. I saw your essay and then the next website that came up had this quote. We can all do better. It's a daily choice.

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  16. Anonymous1:20 PM

    dear Terry,
    thanks for jumping down the rabbit hole.....I don't post often but your blog has been part of my
    day for a long time. God bless you and your family.
    Kindest regards,
    Missy from the bayou

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  17. Your blog makes my days better.
    Thank you.

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  18. We can do better.....and it really comes down to "I" can do better, not you, not someone, but me...and from there the we.

    I was determined to reclaim Sept 11 as a day of celebration. It is my wedding anniversary. And yes I am mindful and take time to think of the loss and pain of that day, but I refuse to let it define "a day" or an attitude. I have had someone close to me die on every major holiday, and will not stop celebrating those as they are meant to be.....that is what it means to be human....we deal with the ugliness of humankind and not let it diminish our humanity.

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  19. 9.11 is also the anniversary of a couple of our dearest friends. We played a role in their wedding, which predated 2001; it was one of the most joyous days of my life, and that's what I associate the date with, too.

    Thanks for your post, Terry, and for your blog in its entirety. At one point, after I'd known you for a while, I went back and read the whole thing from the beginning. You've created something very special here.

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  20. Most of the things that have mattered most to me, I backed into accidently, as an introduction. If I've learned anything I've learned that detours count. Loss may be what moves me off my couch, but that nature abhors a vacuum. Time fills in the holes. Not with the same things. Not even with similar things. But with the good of the moment.

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