it's taken me a few days to be able to write this entry. i'm not sure why it's been so hard, because it's about good things. but there you have it. this one has been a struggle, probably because i'm ready to move on to the next thing.
i mentioned trying to find the right place to be on 9/11. turns out that the right place was several places.
being at work today was hard. we lost two people from our office. friends lost friends. people were busy finding their own way to remember and honor. and i found that i couldn't be part of that, just had to shut down.
so it was a relief to head downtown, to be a bit more anonymous. my church hosted part of a series of interfaith services, offered by the Islamic Society of Boston, Temple Israel and Trinity Church. i got down there a bit early, and walked around the green, looking at posters that people were signing, feeling rather odd that there was so much media coverage, finding that someone had made sculptures of the word 'peace' in three languages, and signing a ribbon with names and prayers.
i found a seat inside, up front, settled in, and looked around. so many people, there for so many reasons, from so many faiths... that alone felt good, and healing.
Barchu et Adonai hamevorach.
Baruch Adonai hamevorach leolam vaed.
see, this is why i put off writing. putting myself back in that space, i'm all teary. but the experience wasn't without some humor. when the leaders came out to explain the worship service, how things might be unfamiliar, and hoping that we'd still feel at home - turns out that their computers couldn't *quite* talk to each other. the service was printed in English, Arabic and Hebrew. or at least it was supposed to be. 'please pardon the gibberish. we're still learning how to communicate.'
We gather in the presence of the Holy One, whose names are many and whose love reaches all; to remember before God the disaster of September 11, 2001, to remember all those who were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in the plane crash in Pennsylvania, and for all those who mourn, to pray for our world torn apart by violence and exploitation, predjudice and greed, war and civil strife, to give thanks for the gift and sanctity of life, for the human family, and for the hope of reconciliation and peace, to take courage from one another, from acts of bravery and generosity all around the world, and from the faith we hold in common, and to celebrate the new connection and fellowship we have discovered in the midst of our losses.
the service was filled with so many moments that struck me to the core. sitting in this place, this building, that i've known and loved for so many years, where i've come to celebrate and heal, and hearing the space filled with notes from a Shofar, a call to prayer in Arabic, a trumpet fanfare from one corner being answered by another clear tone from the far side, watching a candle being lit, one for each tradition, as statements of faith are read... this. this was the place i needed to be.
Wa rahmat Allah Wa alaikum as-salaam.
Wa rahmat Allah.
singing the Mourner's Kaddish, being granted peace in Arabic, and seeing, for one moment, the clouds outside break and the sun coming in thru the stained glass window behind the altar, the face of Christ glowing for just a moment - truly, that is a benediction.