The Clock’s Lesson

Time tells us things, but never stops to think.

I awoke this morning in Bethesda, MD, in the room I grew up in. I looked out the window, through a high, distant patch of sky, a small hole in the dense foliage. I felt as if I were looking up to freedom from a place of pleasant imprisonment, to a place of infinite love from a world with all too much hate.

I thought of a meditation image where one thinks of the true Self as the blue sky behind the clouds. I lay in bed, thinking about this burgeoning Self, the blue sky I am just beginning to really know at age 46, about the importance of starting the day off right, with clarity and calmness.

I glanced at the clock to see what time it was, what time I was starting my day. The clock said 9:11 AM. Today is September 11, 2006. It was as if I were being reminded by that coincidence, being given my lesson. Today is a day for remembering and learning.

I thought of those who perished on this day five years ago. How many of them were just beginning to find themselves, as I am? How many had already done so and were sharing their love deeply with all those around them? How many hadn’t yet even glimpsed what they might have seen if they had had some more time?

The world changed that day. I wonder if those who perished then would think we’ve really improved things. Have we really tackled the hate behind those attacks? Or have we just obfuscated it, like so many more clouds obscuring the truly clear, blue sky? I wonder. What would “blue sky thinking” tell us? To hate back, or to find some other way?

I decided that my lesson for today was this: Not to add to the clouds of hate and mistrust. I think those who perished on September 11, 2001 would not want to see hate on top of hate. I will live this day actively toward clarity and compassion. I will try to help solve the problem by my actions, my life, rather than simply hating those who fumbled the opportunity we had 5 years ago to avoid war. I will try to forgive those who’s policies of hate have now caused the deaths of thousands of our soldiers. I will try to forgive those who started a war as a smokescreen to cover their own failures.

The clock reads 9:26 AM.

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