Inside are Japanese peace cranes made and donated by victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There are cots where workers slept after 9-11. Volunteers changed the sheets each night and placed a stuffed animal on each cot. There are a pile of animals on the one symbolic cot. There are memorials to those who died and helped. I see George Washington's pew.
I sit with, in, as, grief. Tears come for those I love and those I don't know. I don't watch the video anthology, but I hear the music of The Star Spangled Banner, Ave Maria, God Bless America. I am grief as I sit on a little wooden chair facing other wooden chairs that face mine. The altar is to the side of the chairs.
There was a prayer service at 10 but Jane and I honor our writing time, even as I am here. My ten is her seven. I stood in front of The Olive Tree by Van Gogh yesterday and thought of the poem Jane wrote when I was in chemo. She called from the museum. We honor the time, wherever we are. She was looking at it in person and I looked at it on-line. I saw the clouds as hearts. Even in person, I see that shape, though there is more dimension and depth. Jane was in NY last week and looking at The Olive Trees on Friday. I look on Monday. No wonder I often feel dizzy. The world I know is mobile. It is more than my phone.
Jane was stressed this morning because her computer won't work since the power outage. I said "no stress." Life is too short. I told her I am concerned about Steve. It puts everything else in perspective. The Chronicle had a good article on stress yesterday, on what it is doing to our health. We each need to find our own peace.
As I sit on my wooden chair, with George Washington's pew and the cot filled with stuffed animals behind me, I feel strength come up my feet. The sun shines into the windows of the chapel. I think of the natives and how they sold Manhattan, not considering it worth very much. Now it holds great grief.
How can we be anything but kind to ourselves and others, I think. Then, I decide to buy the book of poetry sold in the gift shop as a memorial. The woman in line next to me is talking on her cell phone, in the chapel. I feel agitated and a desire to ask her how she can be so inconsiderate, and then, I realize once again why we have war. Ah, breathe, peace. What does it matter?
I walk outside to view a stump, now a sculpture thanks to Steve Tobin. Tiny stones line the roots. It is what remains of a 100 year old Sycamore tree that toppled from the Trade Center blast of tons of debris. Miraculously, not a window pane or tombstone was destroyed and the church is literally right there, a sanctuary then, and now. The trees shielded the church even from a huge steel beam.
At Trinity Church is a bronze of the stump, so I will go there next.
It sit, feeling this area as a place to grieve and rebuild. I think of the work going into Freedom Tower and the pride. Steve's work is, for him, a spiritual practice. When he was in India, the spiritual master told him there are many ways to do yoga. For him, it is work. It is important to rebuild here and honor what was and what comes. I look out and see the many people who feel and do the same.
There is a Bell of Hope outside the church, given by the mayor of London and dedicated a year after the blast. The bell is from the same foundry as the Liberty Bell and London's Big Ben.
Hope! Peace! Ease!
I see how clearly it is so, that when I allow myself to fully feel my grief, I breathe and the sun pours through the panes and pain to glow.