Monday, September 5, 2011

2011.09.05 Labor Day and Memorial Day

Today, a week before the 10th anniversary of the disaster in NYC we call 9/11, is a day on which a LABOR of love was revealed in New York. It is a MEMORIAL to help us remember what we can not restore.

I just saw a video of the memorial, “Reflecting Absence” —for me a spiritual experience, meaning awe, hand to my mouth, a gasp, and tears that flowed with the two enormous human-made waterfalls.

The two pools, a colossus to mark the foot prints of what were the twin towers plunge down, earthward, rather than up, heavenward.

Who decided Divinity was always up anyway?

Like the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. the names are engraved along the granite edges of the pools, in no special rank or order. If only life could be as great an equalizer as death.

I didn’t know anyone personally who lost life but I had a client whose new husband was on one of the planes. So I felt along with her.

I got to wondering about absence and presence. We assume that the presence of God is the only good thing, however in the tradition of the Psalms the felt absence of God elicits some of the most beautiful poetry and heart-rending spiritual aching ever created—a memorial to the biblical God who gave humanity freedom and made it sacrosanct, a gift never to be violated by power, even divine power, a Love willing to be powerless, to be experienced as absent.

The presence of God is not unimportant of course. I see it not in intervention but rather in the tears of a nation, in the labors of those who dropped their own lives for a time just to help in heroic ways offering whatever they had to give including prayers, and in the creation of great beauty in this memorial.

Reminds me of the biblical women who stood by Jesus to the end and so many others who sit in prayer or at bedsides keeping God company.