It was 9/11. It was 9/11/10.
The kids are on a choir retreat for a couple day, learning to sing together, better. Nancy was, for the fourth or fifth year, coordinating the meals for everyone. I was along because Nancy was there. It’s what we do.
I was thinking this morning that I wasn’t sure how I felt today, that I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel about this anniversary day, this day of divide for many people. To spend the day, not in silence, but in activity, with kids who were 2 or 3 or 4 years old, when nine years ago our daughter, now 19, ate breakfast and watched a plane crash.
Isn’t there a right way to spend this day? Isn’t there some way we should feel, some things we should say? Shouldn’t it be clear, and shouldn’t we talk it through until it is clear?
Shouldn’t I be writing a post?
And then I realized that this is how lots of people feel lots of the time. Lots of people aren’t sure how they are supposed to feel. Lots of people don’t have the words to express what they aren’t sure they feel.
And I decided this morning that they don’t have anything wrong with them.
We, the talkers, the writers, the reflectors, the “fill every space with words and thoughts and expressions and art and story” people, we can’t quite believe that everyone doesn’t have a story. We are pretty sure that the silent people just need to be taught now to reflect and then they will be as talkative as we are. We are convinced that they just need to be coached and they will be artists and writers and bloggers and video makers.
Maybe we’re wrong. Maybe we need to be coached into understanding that some things just can’t be put into words, some experiences aren’t the basis for a video, some stories are large enough to be lived just one time and experienced individually.
Maybe, rather that us encouraging them to talk, they should remind us that it is okay to shut up sometimes.