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Hearing of September 11

My daughter in Seattle telephoned me the morning of September 11th. "Mom. Oh, Mom, you don't know, do you?" I didn't. Whitney told me of the horrible events which were unfolding at that time.

I stood, motionless, facing the window that looked into the woods near my house. Time was still. Just as the sun stopped moving when Isis's son Horus was stung by a scorpion. This was all too horrible to be real. And yet, I have long been aware that in other places, violence is part of every day life.

As I stared out the window, a doe slowly walked thorough the woods; the sun filtered through the leaves. The doe looked at the house, at me in the window, and lay down. Giving me the experience of witnessing peace and serenity at the same time I heard a report of an attack that we Americans had not imagined possible.

I am reminded that chaos and serenity exist, side by side. We, U.S.A.-ers, have just gotten an enormous dose of chaos. How we respond to it is our challenge.

It is my hope that we, as a Nation, will continue to demonstrate compassion to each other, and our national leaders find a response that will not lead to war. As citizens, we have a huge invitation to look at the events that led up to September 11.

"The more and more you listen, the more and more you hear;
the more and more you hear, the deeper and deeper your understanding becomes."

Kilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

I don't expect that I will ever really understand all the events that led to September 11. I don't have a good understanding of history and economics, but I do understand the power of stories.

During these times, storytelling becomes even more important. Stories can promote the healing process and bring us closer to one another. Take time to talk about and reflect on the stories you hear about September 11. Tell your own personal stories about how you are affected. Listen to your family, friends, and especially to the children's stories about the attacks.

Each time a story is told, the teller is constructing his reality. Stories that transform feelings of helplessness into hope give us courage. Stories reflect the way we see the world and the way we define ourselves. Storytelling allows us to experience the point of view of all the characters in the tale.

It is so important that we listen deeply to stories.