Reflection on 9/11

September 12, 2009

It has been two pensive days. Somehow the words won’t come. Difficult for me since I write 100 times a year.

I sit staring at the keyboard. No words.

Everyone is/was so busy with 9/11. Public moments of silence, ceremonies, TV filled with remembrances, talk shows, websites, commentaries, footage of planes and fires and people. Nice, polite, respectful mostly, but very busy.

Shhhh, I thought. Just sit with it. Sit in solitude. Then some words started to form. Softly, very quietly. Shhhh. Go slow. Sit with it. A few more words are now coming. But only a few.

This was last years “reflection.” . Here’s the lead paragraph: “After seven years, these closed eyes still see the jumpers as vividly as I did that morning. I counted five in the few minutes between the time I first turned around to look at the smoldering North Tower and the time the second explosion rocked the South Tower. The couple holding hands and flinging themselves out of an uppermost floor right below the “Windows” restaurant are framed on my inner eyelids.”

The rest is there if you want to read it. For the curious, let me confess that I close my eyes and still see them jumping. No, that’s not true. I see them right now and my eyes are actually wide open and I’m looking at the screen while typing these few words at four o’clock in the morning.

But there is no more crying now. Pain has given way to ache and now to calm which has replaced fear. Is it a numbing calm? Or is it a calming numbness? How can one know the answer to that?

Shhhh. Softly. Just think about it. Let it wander in and around on the inside.

Just ponder the imponderables.

It’s okay to affirm life. We don’t celebrate the attack, but we don’t have to live in fear of a repeat.

Anger is still permitted. After 8 years we see it as a useless loss of life. What did the Jihadist fools accomplish?

And we pray that there is some just eternity and that Bin Laden and his ilk will rot in hell for the better part of it.

For us, just affirm life. And reflect with solitude and respect. Shhhh. Softly. Just sit with it.

David R. Kotok, Chairman and Chief Investment Officer, email:


Copyright 2009, Cumberland Advisors. All rights reserved.

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