Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Reimagining my religion

There are too many yellows to keep track of this time of year and sorting them out takes time. This is rosinweed (silphium integrifolium), a native recognizable both because of its blossom and distinctive foliage, growing in a prairie remnant. As far as the rest is concerned, I’m not prepared to commit yet, but expect to spend a good deal of time during September working on it, studying petals and leaves.

It was 45 degrees when I came down this morning and poked my head out the door. Waking up with the blanket slightly askew I thought “furnace” for a flash, then pulled the cover up and dismissed the idea. Won’t be long.

The quality of the light has changed. Summer’s light, from midday until mid afternoon makes me uneasy. I have no idea why. Autumn light fills the day, beginning to end, with promise. No idea why that is either. Something ancient involving harvest and renewal?

Outside watering last evening, the silence was stunning. The dooryard birds have vanished for some reason. No more robins, no more doves, no more wrens. The cicadas were quiet, as were the humans. Not even the sound of a passing truck drifting up the valley from U.S. 34 a mile away. Crickets hadn’t yet begun to sing. The closing hours of a holiday explained part of it, seasonal transitions more.


This is the week preceding 9/11, the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. For some reason, 10-year anniversaries are considered more important than 9-year or 11-year. Much will be written, spoken and broadcast.

Where were you? Well, here actually, in the living room drinking coffee and watching the “Today” show. The events were abstractions then, and remain so, for those of us who did not experience them.

After 10 years, I still have no idea what the significance was, if any, of those assaults on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the lives lost and deaths averted when United Airlines Flight 93 was driven into Pennsylvania dirt.

I do know, after checking the Pentagon’s death tally, that 6,224 U.S. personnel have died in the peculiar and indecisive endless operations --- Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn --- that have followed, more than double the number who died on 9/11. That’s not counting untallied thousands of Iraqi and Afghan civilians, military types and insurgents.

More victimes of that vile and blood-thirsty Old Testament trickster of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

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