I am writing after the fact but these are my thoughts from yesterday, Sept. 11, 2019.
Like essentially every millennial, I remember 9/11/01 clearly. The day started to get weird for me when I was called to the Principal’s Office following Mr. Doughty’s science class. I had been to the office before but this time I didn’t know of anything I had done wrong. My Principal informed me that something had happened involving the federal government and that all employees, and their families, had to be accounted for as part of standard procedure.
For people who don’t grow up with a dad who is a federal agent this sounds really bizarre. But this kind of thing had happened to me before. I once had to change my name at a basketball game because my dad was the coach and had some clients in the stands who couldn’t know about his family. This was just a reality of how I grew up. It didn’t seem out of the ordinary to me.
I wouldn’t know until later in the day why I had been accounted for. Our school was very careful not to have TVs on that day. And this was in a time before smartphones so word didn’t travel quickly through the middle school. But from what I can tell, my brother (who was in high school) and I were the first students to be notified in the school district. It is still strange to think about it all these years later.
We all have memories of 9/11 and we all have a personal relationship to its memorials. It is a heavy day for Americans who experienced it. And I was stopped by the thought yesterday, that on such a dark memorial I would be doing two things that create more joy in the world. What a gift.
First I was teaching my usual Wednesday night Power Yoga class. My personal Yoga practice has been a tool for healing. It has helped me through times of grief and anxiety. That is part of the reason why I wanted to become a teacher; I wanted to share with other people the benefits that I had found through practicing. I asked my class to set as their intention to be part of a community that creates more joy and brings more peace to this world. I hope that the practice allowed them to feel lighter.
After that I raced across town to perform in a comedy show. I have been reflecting on how laughter is another tool for healing. Laughing literally extends your life expectancy. But it also reminds us how absurd life can be and that we are all sharing that absurdity through the human experience.
Again, I feel like yesterday was a real gift for me. I was able to share two of my passions. I was able to share two tools that help us heal. On a heavy day for all Americans, my heart felt lighter knowing that I am working to create more joy and more peace in this world.