September 11, 2007

Vibrations

Backyard in early morning

This morning, as I sat on the couch with my computer in my lap and a cup of hot tea on the floor near my feet, I looked out the window at deer grazing in my backyard. The woods behind my house are still mostly green, although the leaves of the river birches have begun to yellow, and the black-eyed suzies are still in bloom. Mornings are quiet here, with my kids all in school. I could hear birdsong and the wind riffing on the wind chimes that hang above my back step.

From the south, I could hear a train rumbling past on the tracks at the end of my road. The train travels east and then south along a river, stopping in small towns and then continuing on until it reaches Big City Like No Other. When I drive along the traintracks on my way to work, I often admire the colorful graffiti on the trains that come from Big City Like No Other, enjoying the urban artwork that looks a bit out of place in this small town.

Today, as I listened to the trains coming and going, a faint vibration in the distance as I worked, I couldn't help but think of Urban Sophisticate Sister, of a friend who lost her daughter on this day six years ago, and of friends and colleagues and former students who live in the city. As I came home from campus, after a day during which many of us stopped to think, in quiet moments, of the sadness and loss, the trains were still going back and forth, travelling from this small town to the big city on the edge of the world.

Urban art

13 comments:

liz said...

Beautiful post.

Colleen said...

Thanks for thinking of Big City Like No Other. That's the perfect name for it.

elswhere said...

I thought of Big City Like No Other today, too.

leaf said...

This is such a beautiful post for remembering this day. It's a day that has set its imprint in so many hearts.

Thank your for this, jo(e).

J said...

Thanks for remembering, Jo(e). I came to your blog yesterday morning, as I do every morning, and I guess I was expecting and hoping for something commemorative written with all the grace I have come to take for granted in your posts. I was disappointed not to find it.

After what felt like a very long day listening to the reading of names, and talking with friends who remember, and doing my best to smile at others who seem all too eager to forget (which category sadly includes the mayor), it was a restorative pleasure to wake up this morning and find that you HAD written a commemorative post full of your usual grace and subtlety.

I like to imagine that some of those trains traveling back and forth to your town might be bringing steel or concrete or bricks. Rebuilding, both at ground zero and in our hearts, is proving a slow and difficult process. For me, though, your blog is one of those colorful cars, delivering necessary materials.

Thank you.

J said...

PS: No pressure! I didn't mean to sound quite as melodramatic as I fear I did just there; my goal was only to thank you for being one of many influences that makes all this a little easier.

argon(one) said...

Great post jo(e), especially the train art. I love trains . . . and the art which adores them.

If you have not visited the Hobo Teacher blog, check it out when you have a moment. It's funny and sad all at the same time. Here's the URL

http://www.hoboteacher.com/blog/

YourFireAnt said...

I love the typo in argon(one)'s post. The art that adores [trains]...

;-)

FA

YourFireAnt said...

Looks like you had a little purple rain out there too.

'-)

FA

undine said...

A subtle and beautiful remembrance.

Yankee T said...

Beautifully written and photographed, as usual.

kathy a. said...

and thanks for the link to what you wrote last year about your students. it still makes me cry.

Mike said...

Your writing is so evocative and beautifully illustrated with your photos.