you have to understand,
I didn't expect this to become a rumination on 9/11. To be honest, most of the fifteen 9/11s that have passed since 2001 have been rumination-free on my part; plenty of people have plenty to say, and to be honest I often find the memoria troubling because of what came after.
What I intended to write about, this week, is the idea of safe places. I caught up on Harry Potter and the Sacred Text last week, and had some thoughts mumbling around in my head about the part of episode eight when they talk about Hermione in the first Potions class, reaching her hand toward the ceiling because she doesn't yet understand that a teacher can be a bully, their questions barbs. The point made in the episode is that Hermione thinks she knows the rules of the classroom, she thinks she knows how it works, and although her behavior seems overly earnest in context, she is playing by the rules she knows. The problem is that the rules don't always apply. Hermione fulfills her end of the promise, but the classroom falls through.
All that got me thinking about the idea of places promising us things, which led me to the idea of places of safety, which came back around to the 9/11 connection. In the fifteen years since we watched that second plane on live TV, a lot of promises have been broken. The promise that we can expect not to die in classrooms and churches and supermarkets was broken. The promise that mass shootings can't affect children has been broken. The promise that if they did, we would do something about it has, thoroughly, been broken. All that along with other troubling promises: the ones that say that if you behave in a certain way you won't be raped, the police won't shoot you, and your child will not watch you die.
We have, overwhelmingly, upheld our ends of the promises, but the promises get broken all the same, leaving us all looking a little pathetic as we stretch our hands toward the ceilings of damp dungeons.
I don't know for sure, because I can't imagine every option, but I'm not sure we can function very well if we can't trust anything. I know we can't live very well if we can't trust one another, but if we can't trust anything, what comes next? How do we heal?
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