this too shall pass...

i tell myself that every morning. for six horrific days, i heard little from my family, who live in new york, from two friends visiting new york, and from one dear friend who lived only two blocks from the tower. we've found almost everyone now, and that makes it a little better, but the first words i spoke that morning still echo through my head, unbidden, at totally random intervals: "oh my god, my homeland is on fire. my home is burning to the ground."

i'm a new yorker before i'm an american. i owe my taint of civility and my bitter humour to the soil i was born upon. for those who forget, america is one of the largest countries in the world; our states are the size of european nations, and the differences between them are sometimes just as vast. i appreciate the support of other americans, from other states, just as i appreciate the kind wishes of the english and the iranians. but that is my home which is on fire this time, and i hope my well-wishers never experience this sort of terror, even if it means they'll never quite understand how it feels to walk in to a sandwich shop and catch an offhand comment that sends the whole world reeling off in a direction that wasn't there before.

when i was young, my father was a commodities broker, and we would go to the trading floor together. it's hard to believe that i'll never take my niece or my sister to see it. my dad's office with the carpet and the private bathroom is nothing more than a smoking heap of rubble. i look at pictures of my brother in central park, with the towers behind him, and i fret that we'll never see that skyline together.

but, as nick cave says, "death is not the end."