As a resident of lower Manhattan, I am surrounded by the spirit(s) of those who gave their lives on that defining day. Like all New Yorkers, the awful sights, sounds and smells of that day are seared into my mind. I flew back to New York from London on September 10th, 2001, casually admiring the majestic towers on the drive into Manhattan. The fact that those twin icons would vanish 24 hours later was unthinkable.
On that crisp and beautiful morning, I was leaving for a meeting at 7 World Trade Center, when a family member called and told me to turn on the television. I did. And everything changed, forever.
Death is ever-present and life is ever-shrinking. For some, death is an obsession, for others, barely an afterthought. To most who contemplate it, the concept of eternal non-existence, of life book-ended by nothingness, is unfathomable and horrifying. We are programmed to rage against oblivion. That’s what the vast majority of us do.
Death is life’s greatest motivator, for good and evil, fueling our futile quest to ‘matter’ – futile, because the people we seek to matter to are themselves reaching out to us to give them meaning. It’s like two jumpers hurtling to earth, each reaching for the other, but neither with a foothold and both doomed to the same end. Some try to matter by helping others, some by hurting others, all with the desire to be remembered, to bridge an unbridgeable gap, to leave some kind of a mark, to prove that they existed.
Humans are impossibly lonely creatures, staring forlornly into time and space, without an anchor or a reference point, probing the depths of physics, philosophy, psychology, poetry, but forever bumping up against the unknowable.
- The Essential Guide to Anti-Hillary Themes
- The pervasive oppression of women and girls
- Threats to justice everywhere
- The torture of disabled children in American schools
- Patton Oswalt, I’m sorry you’re so wrong about Boston
- “No more hurting people”
- Tobacco kills: grim stats on smoking
- The top ten list you shouldn’t be reading
- Climate change compendium: tracking our planetary calamity [UPDATED]
- Is the progressive blogosphere dead?
- Fearing death and facing death
- Climate change is here
- The Global War on Women
- The black curtain
- The silence of the left: Obama, Bush and extrajudicial killing
- U.S. official says Hamas-PLO government would prompt aid reassessment
- Boy and girl on Korean ferry tied life jackets together before they drowned
- Obama poised for new sanctions on Russia if no progress on Ukraine
- Australia rules out link between debris and Malaysian plane
- Three Americans killed in Kabul hospital attack
- ECB Would Consider Asset Purchases, Says Mario Draghi - Wall Street Journal
- GE's $57 Billion Cash Overseas Said to Fuel Alstom Deal - Bloomberg
- Valeant to lose three directors following hostile takeover bid - Montreal Gazette
- Aetna Says First-Quarter Earnings Beat Analyst Estimates - Bloomberg
- Sales of new US homes plunge 14.5 percent in March - NorthJersey.com
- FBI Informant Sabu Organises Cyber-Attacks on Government Websites in Iran ... - International Business Times UK
- Apple stuns world with rare SEVEN-way split: What does that mean? - Register
- Intralinks Acquires Document Security Service docTrackr - TechCrunch
- Travel back in time with Google Street View - Bangkok Post
- Space missions can cause cognitive deficit in astronauts - Business Standard
- Marijuana ups heart risk in adults - Times of India
- FDA releases proposed e-cigarette regulations - CNN
- Aspirin may cut down colon cancer risks too - Business Standard
- Ear implant may help regrow auditory nerves - Times of India
- Mild cognitive impairment linked to early death in new research - Medical News Today
- UN-backed summit on food security, 'blue economy' urges coordinated action
- UNAIDS teams up with Brazilian footballer David Luiz ahead of World Cup
- INTERVIEW: WFP chief declares 'the time is now' for Central African Republic
- Providing West African communities with sound information crucial to curbing spread of Ebola - UN
- With millions facing hunger in Sudan, UN urges support to prevent further crisis
- UN expert calls for consultations on reforming Cte d'Ivoire's electoral commission
- Respect right of persons with disabilities to make their own choices, urges UN panel
- UNESCO chief denounces killing of journalist in the Philippines
- Unrest in eastern Ukraine risks 'seriously destabilizing' entire country - UN rights official
- Rwandan genocide: Security Council told failure of political will led to 'cascade of human tragedy'
- Myanmar: UNICEF warns children of Kachin face growing threats due to recent fighting
- UN calls for immediate release of abducted school girls in north-eastern Nigeria
- Challenges facing world population take centre stage at annual UN forum
- FEATURE: 'The ballot is the best weapon Afghan women have,' says UN
- On World Day, Ban urges renewed efforts to help persons affected by autism realize full potential