This is dedicated to all who died on that bright and horrid morning, and those who died
in Bali, Madrid, Israel, Russia, and anywhere else terrorists have struck:
Twin cities in the City, in the sky,
soaring to meet the clouds; greeting the sun
with joy, gladly catching golden light that
kindles answering golden light in glass
Rank upon rank of lights,
gleaming in the night like strands of diamonds,
carefully arranged in ordered rows
by a proud master jeweler.
Humming with people, busy at their work;
“Just work!” Perhaps, but careful, constant work
kindles and keeps a dream’s light glowing in
one’s heart, and in time gives it solid form.
And dreams can kindle other dreams in
other hearts, light answering to light,
life after life made brighter.
Thus rose the mighty skyline
all around, and thus the towers themselves;
built by, and built for, dreamers, who could keep
their dreams alight, and, as the metal, stone,
and glass were thrown higher and ever higher
into the sky, rejoice as they took shape.
Evil comes, killing a lovely morning,
screaming out of the sky, flashing twin knives,
unnatural weapons, filled with stolen lives.
They strike. The wounded towers now bleed smoke
and fangs of flame that race like hellish poison,
tearing at their steel. Sadly the twins falter
and fall, weeping tears of splintered glass and
metal, floor smashing into floor, their strength
and gladness crumbling into smoke and ruin
as they plunge downward, taking with them lives;
so many precious souls, that vanish, with
their dreams, their strength and gladness, love, and tears,
leaving lonely bits of paper flying
in the gray, choking dust that rolls like waves
of surging water down the streets, to whisper
mournfully of those destroyed.
now is wounded; a gash of emptiness
where once the towers stood echoes the wounds
in hearts and lives.
But God still reigns; He steers all things to suit
His purpose, even in this horror, and
has promised to one day share that purpose
with us, speaking face to face. He also
is never neutral between fear and freedom,
good and evil, and would have us fight
evil with the last atom of our strength.
Take courage from the courage of all those:
Who fought the toxic smoke, the killing breath
of the twin ravening, snarling infernos,
to save all whom they could; who faced twin
hells whose slashing fire-claws brought the towers
thundering down, rather than leave a comrade.
Who wrenched another weapon from the handof
evil, choosing to face their own fiery
death, rather than risk other lives.
Who deal with grief and horror day by day,
sifting through each scrap of the twisted pile
of wreckage, a long-smoldering mass grave,
hoping to find some trace of those who died.
So may we truly honor
the lives lost that day, in Pennsylvania,
in the Pentagon, in the twin cities
in the City, in the sky.
Sorry I’ve not posted for so long, but I have been busy – with, among other things, our trip to England!!
Hubby and I stumbled out of our plane about 6:30 AM on Memorial Day (which was about 12:30 AM Indy time), stumbled through what seemed like miles and miles of Heathrow airport, stumbled into a taxi, then into our hotel room, and spent the rest of the day recovering from jet lag (memo to self – see about upgrading tickets from economy class the next time we go hopping oceans and time zones!) The next day, we actually started our vacation…
A lot of London is still block after block of row houses; brick (I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many colors of brick before!), stucco, stone, iron balconies and railings, windows topped with Greek temple style pediments, windows peering out from mansard roofs, and fantastically elaborate gables, all rubbing shoulders in a cheerful architectural calliope. I think I even spotted one or two recent buildings that tried to fit into their context!
Two words: **GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE** - as in full-bore, pull-out-all-the-stops Gothic, high, wide, and breathtakingly beautiful…
We were walking along a medieval street in York – barely wide enough to get a car through, with as many turns as a snake’s belly - when it suddenly ended, and there was York Minster Cathedral, rising in splendor, her towers reaching to heaven in an exultant hymn of praise, glowing in the afternoon sun. I’m sure my jaw hit the pavement!
So the next morning we headed back to the Minster, me with map confidently in hand, for a look inside… There’s simply no way you can misplace the biggest building in the city…Yeah. Right. **chuckle** I, the great traveler, who led us all over London on the subway, with nary a hitch, got completely bamboozled by York’s medieval street grid…(same thing happened in Canterbury – maybe I should get one of those GPS gadgets?) So a 15-minute walk took an hour, and I was so glad the Internet friends who’d agreed to meet us were patient enough to wait!
And the Minster is just as splendid inside. The arches of the vaults, soaring heavenward, march in perfect, confident rhythm towards and between stained glass windows, which gather every ray of sunlight they can catch, and then joyously fling it out across the church as so many glowing gems. And I could have spent hours wandering around admiring the sculptures…
For me, Gothic architecture is a world of marvels: the colors that still glow from walls and sculptures inside Canterbury Cathedral; the stone carved as delicately as lace; the angels busily climbing up and down the stairways to heaven along the west towers of Bath Abbey. Just like my beloved Art Deco, there’s beautiful, exuberant craftsmanship everywhere. And just like skyscrapers, Gothic churches don’t just sit on their sites; they RISE from them…I haven’t found all the words yet to describe how beautiful they are, but I’m working on it…
I also remember:
The beautiful, green countryside, and the gardens (“Gardens R Us”)
Ruthin Castle, with its peacocks who like to pose for photos, picturesque ruins, and a Medieval Banquet so authentic that all you have to eat with is a knife as big as a dagger. But not to worry – it’s perfectly OK to dunk your bread in your soup, or drink from the bowl…
The “Royal Mile” in Edinburgh, and especially one little store right off it, on one of the steepest little side streets I’ve ever stumbled down, called “Thistle Do Nicely” (after one of Scotland’s national emblems)
The Colonel’s Review, Windsor Castle, the Tower of London…