Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tribute in Light


Today marks the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on 9-11-2001 and the 'official' unveiling of the 88 floodlights that make up the Tribute in Light Memorial at the site of the Twin Towers. In thought, and in tribute, we honor the memory of the 2,751 people who lost their lives that day in the Twin Towers, 84 more in Pennsylvania and 40 at the Pentagon.

In speeches and in writings, the sacred spot known as 'Ground Zero' has been called "a place that became acquainted with the dark." With those words taken from a poem, we recognize the darkest spaces and places in other men's hearts that seek to do evil as they blazed out in crashing furies.

I look out my own window here, and see blessings of light that have finally broken through the past 8 days of torrential downpours. In native cultures they might have seen the Great Father's tears or Mother Earth's sorrow. But today, it seems more like a cleansing. A time to wash away the old and bring in the new.

With the opening of the clouds and the illumination of the mountains, water, earth and sand...I can feel the sun's warmth on my previously chilled skin and breath the fresh morning air of a new day.

Through endless days of hard and challenging work with both physical and mental exhaustion, the light's warmth brings in both hope and spiritual renewal. As on all days of remembrance, I think of my own loved ones who are no longer in my physical world, and reach out through other dimensions to those who are now facing living battles with Alzheimer's and related dementia's.

I see, feel and know the 'death that comes without dying.' The slow death of those we once knew and loved as they become someone else we don't always

The week of hardest challenges is behind us now, the newly regained light once more visible. My mother says her night was filled with nightmares. She dreamed all night long of ladders. Over and over, she said, she was climbing ladders. I asked her if she was going up or down and she didn't know.

In this world, as in that world, she has been climbing ladders...up and down through the layers of both the physical and mental subconscious. Some days, she climbs up, other days she climbs down. We are learning to allow those layers, to follow her lead wherever she goes and to hold her hand always so she knows that she is never alone.

I look at the paths that all of our lives take as we deal with the challenges we all face... of not only living, but loss, grief and dying and am grateful for any beams of light that enter those dark and unknown places.

I turn my face into the beauty, into the light, take a deep breath and remember my own roots. For just like the old foundation beams shown here of the Treadwell Gold Mine that once was, my own roots still hold steadfast to the earth beneath the swirling waters of my own consciousness.

If we can feel those roots, we are not rootless. If we can feel the warmth of others' outreaching support, we are not helpless. And though the endless cycles of life bring in change or loss, if we can feel, see, and breathe in the light we have hope and the ability to go forward into another new day.

Today, as my father moves a hand held shower head from downstairs bath to the one upstairs, I will help my mother bathe in the cleansing waters from our glacial sources, clothe her afresh and swaddle her in soft blankets or a clean robe.

Last week's challenges are behind us, the nightmares are seeing the light of day with new understandings, and hope allows us to go on with the knowledge that we shall still have good days as well as hard ones.

Perhaps, that is the greatest gift of 9/11. The gifts of unity, of honor, tribute and remembrance. And the knowledge that we can, indeed, go on.

4 comments:

  1. You are a beautiful writer. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    I check in on you often and my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs, Linda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Michele,
    Lovely post- it certainly captures the essence of living with someone who faces the daily challenges of Alzheimers.
    I am a teacher in a school where we offer Cree as a second language- most of my children are First Nations or Metis. I love the metaphor of Great Father's tearsand Mother Earth's sorrow- I have never heard that teaching before- it is beautiful.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently,
    Hugs,
    Anna

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for generating and reflecting light for us all, for being a voice that encourages endurance.

    Together with Love, *karendianne./ Living Life at LeeHaven

    ReplyDelete

Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.