A few weeks ago, we were in New York City, the kaleidoscopic queen of all cities. At last she seems to have recovered from that awful day, now close to 16 years ago. This was not the first time I’d been back; but it was the first time that her lightening-paced ebullient energy was evident again. In my past trips, her residents were still wounded, obsessing about the past. Passing conversations, still traumatized, books about the falling towers read by subway riders, for them, the awful loop of those images had not passed. The ghosts of that day still wandered the streets.
Not this time, her swagger is showing again. One thing has changed, though, the Lady in the harbor still holds her lamp aloft not only for the living, but for also for those who passed through another golden door so many years ago. The quiet pools near Battery Park whispering gently of those who have passed is a perfect memorial. Nearly 3000 people died that day; yet it was also the largest rescue achieved up to that time, and beyond, 15,000 people were successfully evacuated from the buildings before they fell. The robust new World Trade Center now speaks to the future–we have passed the test. Americans are tough critters.
Not long after 9/11/01, I was in a healing session with a client, both of us were grieving and obsessed with the events of the past weeks. I had a vision while working on her, it involved her as well, as you will see. I became aware of them again as I walked the WTC Memorial. Their voices were not silent.
We face another test now, two families; A poet, well-versed in the human soul, once said:
“From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”
It is an old tale, one that we as humans have not yet grown past its dark absurdity. We now wield the power to create that ball of slag, and we have no place to go from here. Each of us has our own to add to heal the rift, however unorthodox, and so we are being called. So as I was in meditation this morning, again, they made themselves known to me, all 2997 of them. I saw the multi-colored balloons and golden towers, and heard their collective voices again, but now with a sense of urgency. “Speak,” they said. And so I will.
Here is the story of that vision from so long ago.
Here to There
This story is about dying, to be sure, but perhaps from a longer perspective. We must face the possibility as a species as well as individually. In between birth, death and immortality, there is the washing and the ironing, isn’t there?
Three weeks after September 11th, 2001, I was about to begin a Reiki session on a client who is a first generation Japanese-American, Carol Yamasaki. All of us were still pretty much shell-shocked, Carol and I had talked about this before we began the session. The burning images of the collapsing towers kept looping in our collective mind, I could feel it. From my experience nothing happens in a vacuum, cause and effect is unavoidable, but there are times when you are definitely reminded you were not named supervisor of the Universe any time recently. That was the only answer I had for her, there weren’t any guarantees that we would ever find out why this had happened.
A healing session begins by the practitioner taking a few minutes to relax and focus and I was having a hard time doing this. I was going to have to find a way to let these images go, at least temporarily. As I asked to connect to that energy that allows me to do my work, I also asked for some way of putting in perspective what we had all just seen and heard, and seemingly lost.
Immediately I heard a voice say very compassionately but detached, resonant, clear,
‘This doesn’t matter, you know.’ Aside from feeling shock at being spoken to directly, my response was immediate.
‘What do you mean, this doesn’t matter, thousands of people died in that attack, are you crazy? Of course it matters!’ I heard the voice again.
‘Not to them, it doesn’t. Most of them didn’t even realize what happened. It only hurt for a second, they’re all fine now.’
‘Well, it matters to their relatives then!’ I had been haunted by the thought of how many people had no resolution, no visit from the police, no body, no nothing. Their loved ones just never came home.
‘More understand than you think.’
Ascending into another level, I again saw the images of the falling towers, but this time they were pure white rimmed in gold, they gleamed in the sun as they fell. The buildings were a chrysalis, a sacred place, a place of accelerated evolutionary motion. There were millions upon millions of souls watching as the buildings crumbled. The building occupants changed form and just simply stepped out and joined their companions in spirit. It was a joyous meeting, a celebration, multi-colored balloons and confetti flying into the starlit expanse and crowds cheering in welcome, they had come home a hard and fast road. The images were shifting so rapidly, I had no time to be amazed.
The scene flipped, I was now myself out in the enormity of space. The Sun and his mighty train of followers, the planets were all laid out before me on the black velvet of limitless space marked with the twinkling of the living stars. It brought tears to my eyes, it was so beautiful, I realized with a rush of joy, this is our home.
But something marred the view, I became aware of a horrible stench, it was choking me. I was reminded sharply of a smell that I used to chance upon when I was working as an EMT. When there is a very bad car accident, particularly if one or more of the cars have burned, there is an odor at the scene that is very distinctive. The smell is of burning oil, radiator coolant, rubber, plastic, blood, and one more thing, if there were occupants trapped in the burning vehicles, the smell of burning meat. It is a very penetrating odor, it stays with your clothes your hair, your mouth, you never forget as long as you live. It didn’t make any sense at first, but I could smell that now, out in the boundless expanse of space.
The Earth was outside of my field of vision, but as I slowly came around the sun and my perspective widened, a brown marble, streaked with black and pockmarked slag came into view. It was still slowly spinning, but the day and the night now fell on it without meaning. The bitterness of the burnt-out fire was in my mouth and I fought the realization that this was the source of the stench. I nearly vomited from despair when the realization hit me that this was the Earth. My heart and mind were slapped into complete silence. I heard the voice again.
‘This is what you can do to yourselves in 17 minutes. This is not a given, this is only one road. These people gave up their lives so that you could understand that you have another choice. You can do this, or you can choose to understand that you are all in this together. It is up to you.’
The scene flipped back to the two towers in white and gold and the souls who had just left it, whom I knew now, had done what they did knowingly on some level to change that line of possibilities. But this time, a rather short Japanese man, was standing next to the towers. He gesticulated to the buildings and then to me rather impatiently, and then he spoke.
‘This is what these were designed for, this was their purpose, to change our path,’ he said.
Now I was confused, who was this man? He looked sort of like my client, Carol. There the vision ended, and I came back to the room where she was lying on the table waiting for me. I told her what I had seen, described the little Japanese gentleman and asked her if she knew who he was. She bolted upright on the table, her eyes wide and her face pale.
‘That was my father, Minori Yamasaki. He designed the World Trade Center Towers.’
We were both stunned. All I know is that human nature being what it is, we rarely learn the lesson easily or remember it for long. It may get worse before it gets better, but perhaps a longer view may be in order. We have a Winter so Spring can come.