Wednesday, September 14, 2011
A Different Sort of 9/11
Over the course of the ten years since terror stalked American skies, I have passed September 11th watching television programs recapping the infamy or glued to a computer monitor, reading about developments chronicling the event across the net. As with each passing year, Americans processed the tragedy in a myriad of ways. One day I will travel to New York to visit the new memorial, the world's highest man-made waterfall, erected on a revitalized Ground Zero.
In 2001, I put myself to the task of processing my grief in stories, something I do in good and trying times. "The Ticket" captured a Clark Atlanta writing competition in fiction, the contest created to recognized high school students, collegiate students and community writers, the category in which I won. Later, I changed the historic script and placed a healing spotlight on my Everywoman character, Ms. Wanda B. Wonders. In my collection of short stories, she saves the day, the plane, the lives on board, the lives on the ground. She teaches lessons of love and acceptance, diversity and tolerance, even as she views our shifting world through black-and-white sunglasses.
I will return Ms. Wanda to this blogged stage later, for her mouth is ever filled with a unique take on life.
As the Universe would have it, I spent this 9/11 preparing for and attending a joyous occasion. Franz-Che, my beautiful Haitian poet sistafriend, invited me to read a poem at her wedding. For days and weeks, I knew the fluttering of a thousand butterfly wings beating delicately behind my breasts. With the sweetness of a Luther VanDross love song---"Endless Love" will do---I yearned to rise to the task, to be worthy, for a love like the love Franz-Che and Ta'Neshia shared...endlessly, deserved a poem that breathed electric passion.
Fingertips to keyboard, the poem came. And when I recited it aloud, heaven and earth moved within me, and I knew it would please my friend, who is a poet extraordinaire, one whose voice alone, before her poetry is spoken, is pure art. I entitled it "YOU: a wedding poem." Here, I share it with you, my beloved followers, for it was not to be that I would share it at the utterly beautiful gala. No, I am not angry. Only accepting. Any number of factors might have weighed on the reason.
The pictures I snapped even now take my breath away! The bride was an island goddess in sparkling white, face a High Museum painting, pretty and resplendent. Her groom debonair and beautifully handsome. Their three charming children offered new meaning to well raised and striking. The details of the mesmerizing affair, from the outdoor vows to the well-spoken woman who officiated the wedding, down to the music selections, left me speechless, and writing this, I remember a line "She left me speechless," from the bride's well-known and loved poem, "Speechless."
The food tingled my taste buds from Acworth's quaint Conservatory at Waterstone to my Clarkston condo. My slice of the flavorful orange-and-white wedding cake had to be made with a sweet wine. I banned myself from devouring a second slice; instead, I grabbed another bottle of water for the ride down 75 South. You can't hear my laugh now, but I'm giggling. The water boasted an orange strip at its middle, the orange-tinged strip a lovely picture of the couple and the words: "Serving Size: 1 Loving Couple and Servings Per Container: 1 Heart." The Amount Per Serving included "Love, Respect, Trust and Unity."
Though I departed the party, tipping like a cleaned-faced Geisha girl in my tightly wrapped orange sari, crossing the sleepy street to a sliver of a parking lot, and, in the dark, in drying contacts, perceived my car to be stolen, the day and evening were memorable in a precious way. That night, upon arriving home or else where, two Acworth police officers probably shared the story of our crossed paths: one got me there on time and the other discovered my quietly waiting car several yards behind me.
On the ride home, I enjoyed a conversation with my wonderful writer friend in California. Night air caressed my skin tenderly. Laughter rode the wind. Traffic sailed. My camera brimming with pictures. Remembering the GPS on my cell after I took a wrong, left-hand turn on Cobb Parkway, and being willing to hail an officer for directions to arrive in the nick of time, I was content.
September 11th had suddenly, miraculously, taken on a whole new meaning...
YOU: a wedding poem
Are the manifestations of my dreams
The Aviator of my fantasies
My Soul Mate
A Black Venus
Who rose from the depths of my being
You Possess the smile that not only lights a room
Lights the afternoon the day
Illuminating my inner essence 'cause when I gazed into your beautiful
eyes, I finally knew what it meant to SWOOOON
Were the one towards whom I walked
As the paths I graced with others led to the myriad of places and lessons
I had to learn, to experience, to grow to become the woman I am
A woman who adores YOU in ways you've yet to know
My Fearless Queen
Thank YOU for recognizing me for being attuned to my energy
For refuting the 1,000 things YOU could have judged to keep us apart
YOU being YOU
Dismissed Society's mores
Ever true to the sanctity and divinity of your heart
You are the beach
And I am the wave
Are the sunset
And I am your softening rays
Are a loc
Around which I curl
They can say we are
Bound by the Naps in our Love Locs
'Cause I don't ever want to be
From falling gently, roughly, softly, casually, dangerously, meekly across
Whispering about your ears grazing your lips and chin
Tumbling across your shoulders tapping your nose sweetly
Trailing tantalizingly up and down your spine when YOU kiss me with
Fiery, blazing locs
With the electricity that weaves YOU through me and me braided straight
My Everything My One Sure Thing My Calm in the Night
I profess my love to YOU this day:
I will be your forever-after at the end of each fairy tale
I will be your pot of gold when the rainbow fails
I will be a haven in the midst of hell
I will be the turn in the road when YOU experience roadblocks
I will soothe your woes when your heart aches
Should know I will traverse the hottest, island trail
To bring YOU that for which YOU yearn
Beside YOU this day I promise to share my life never
Suffocating YOU with a needy, greedy love to keep YOU locked away
From growth, destiny, sun and all others
For my sake
I vow to love YOU in the sweetest, most sacred of ways
Not only with my body
And my every thought
But also, most importantly,
With every fiber of my soul through infinity
And every day of the journey I want YOU to know
I love YOU
FABEO oooooooOOOOOOOOOO Yeahhhhh
(c) Claudia Moss 8/18/2011