I remember exactly where I was on the morning of September 11th, 2001. I was in a hotel room in Kauai, waking up on that day like any other day. I went downstairs to the hotel lobby to get my coffee, and that is when I saw a crowd of people, gathered around CNN on a big screen. I heard the news hours after it had already happened, due to the five hour time difference. I saw the planes, the fires, the chaos of crowds and smoke and sadness. I know what I felt was shock, disbelief, and then a profound loneliness. It is hard to be thousands of miles across the ocean from friends, family, and the larger community of your own nation in a time like this. I was removed, isolated from the events, watching it happen as if it was happening to someone else, someplace else. But this was happening in a place close to home, close to me, my best friend living a few blocks away. Here I am on the tenth anniversary, back in Hawaii, and it feels like it has come full circle.
There is a time for every purpose under heaven. (Another Song I cannot get out of my head...for this occasion)
"To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven
A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late"
Looking back on the last ten years, I am proud of this nation and its people. Proud of how we have stuck together, forged ahead with new projects, new dreams, new communities, and have helped each other when we have needed it most. It's has been a rough few years for many of us. I am however, disheartened by our politicians and our politics. This is not a political blog, and never will be. But I have to say, these times when I nation most needs leaders, those I had hoped would rise up and claim leadership have not. I have put so much hope in our president, Obama, and I hoped he WOULD be the change he was proclaiming. Sadly, all I have seen is more of the same posturing and bickering, and political garbage that keeps this nation from excelling and holds its people back. I watched Obama's "Jobs Plan" speech this Thursday, and I was again hoping for good things. Positive ideas, middle ground unity, a rising up. What I heard instead was a line drawn in the sand, a steady tug of war that never seems to sway. I am again moving toward disillusionment on both the right and the left. It is not just Obama that I am disappointed in; it is our Congress taking vacation just after a weak, last effort debt deal was passed, the feeling I get from both sides that it is most certainly not ME that they are looking out for, but actually themselves. I have travelled around the world enough times to speak with many different people about perceptions of the United States that range from belief that it is still the best country in the world to thinking the leaders are making major errors in judgment or worse. I hope the best is true. I hope that our leaders can become half as good as we all imagine they can be. I know the people of America are great, and we deserve leaders who are also, unyieldingly, great. Now is the time for our leaders to come together. Now is the time for their very best, for the people that are still hoping. Now is the time.