Twenty years ago, I lived ten miles outside of the Port Angeles, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula. Being on the pacific coast I was 3 hours behind the east coast time. I woke, wrote poetry for a little over an hour and then checked the news on the internet. I saw a little feed-rectangle in the upper right corner of the screen showing a plane crashing into a tall building. I discounted the moving image as an advertisement for flight simulator game software and changed to the sport webpages to check baseball scores. I went about my day as if nothing unusual had happened. I mowed my lawn, played with my neighbors dogs, went hiking on Hurricane Ridge trails, stopped at the market for fresh seafood to make for supper.
It was not until 4:30 or 5:00pm that I noticed I had received a flood of emails. Most of the email writers knew I edited a small press poetry publication. They asked if I had heard from any of the New York City poets who I had previously published and were they okay. That was the moment when I realized something big had happened. Not having TV or dependable cell phone service at the house, I went to the internet to look up news and learned what I thought was a game ad was a terror attack and catastrophe.
One of the last emails of the day was from a NYC poet letting everyone in her email address book know she was physically okay, though shaken to the bone by the day’s events.
I did a lot of blank staring at the wall that evening. I knew the USA changed that day, but not what the change would be. My hopes were different than what took place over the last twenty years.
Love & Light. Love & Unite.