Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Quondam pulvus et umbra sumus

We were once dust and shadows.

Another year. Six, now, since that morning we woke up and it seemed like the world changed.

But it didn't. And six long years later it feels like sixty, or six hundred. The pain and hot, bright anger of that morning has twisted into a gray numbness. The small days of our lives since then have muted the emotions, the lies and arrogance of our "leaders" have deflected the anger and turned our suffering into suffering for others while the guilty have fled and evaded punishment. In our rage and revenge we have become like that we hated, and have grown prematurely weary in fighting what we don't understand, even in our fighting against ourselves.

I wish we could go back to that sunny September morning and change who we became, change who "lead" us into this dismal confusion. But I can't. And now whenever this day comes around I feel old, and tired, and wish the day be done.

"...in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori."
Wilfred Owen
--
I have to add...I'm getting very tired of writing these posts every 9/11. Every year that goes by the event seems more distant, sadder, just emblematic of a hideous waste and a sickness. How do you feel about this day?


3 comments:

SBird said...

One of my all-time favorite stanzas of poetry.

SBird said...

I think the day will be a blip on the radar screen in 500 years...or maybe 100. Hell, how many people remember Antietam?

walternatives said...

Honestly? After spending all morning / early afternoon in class, it didn't click until watching the evening news. It still pisses me off to see that 9/11 morphed into Iraq...and we're still there.