As a New Yorker, as an American and simply just as a human being, 9/11 is wrought with emotion, deep sadness and many memories. I have stories I could tell, my fellow Alecia’s Stem Cells teammates have many, many stories too, some of survival, some of hope and kindness, but quite a few of unbelievable horror and grief.
I can’t possibly do justice to any of these stories today and planned to post some Wordless Wednesday photos I’ve taken over the years of the Twin Towers, the blue lights that symbolized the towers from past 9/11 memorials, construction photos of One World Trade Center, and the 9/11 memorial pools.
If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (especially Instagram), you know over the course of the summer, I became keenly aware of “hearts” in my world. On the sidewalk, in graffiti, a crumpled piece of paper in the street, gum on the curb. Frequently, I see a “heart” somewhere. Depending on what’s going on in my world, they symbolize different things to me. I usually see them when I’m alone and they always make me think (or change my thinking), and usually stop me in my tracks (well I’m not taking action photos, so I do actually need to stop). I try to change my walk routes now, in the hopes of finding an undiscovered heart. Often these hearts give me hope.
This morning I passed 2 familiar hearts on my way to work. Hearts I now see all the time. I was secretly hoping I would see a NEW heart today but it didn’t happen. The 9/11 TV coverage I’d watched as I walked out the door weighed heavy on my heart. I thought of the friend I was with on 9/11, who has since passed away, and how very much I miss him.
At the office, my BG skyrocketed, work stress elevated (like crazy yo), I very politely but firmly argued with a medical supplier and I glanced out my window. I have pigeons that land on my windowsill often. I call them Pigeon Spies. I claim they are stealing my designs and that they are annoying, but secretly, I love them (even though they occasionally give me a heart attack when they tap the window as they land). They taunt my dog and fall asleep inches from him. They are bold, brave and curious. Those pigeons are New Yorkers.
Every once in awhile, two pigeons will be on the sill at the same time. One is always going after the other and there are never two on the sill for more than a few seconds. Today, I watched something new. Two pigeons. One much bigger than the other one. They stood together, side by side. They watched me for awhile and mirrored my movements (yep, spies) and then they turned and sat down, touching, looking out on a corner of New York City. The smaller one leaned over and the big one got down a little lower. There’s a term for this, allogrooming, meaning grooming performed by one animal upon another animal of the same species. Perhaps we all see what we want to see, but the smaller pigeon spent so much time fixing the other pigeon’s head feathers, it was remarkable. I was less than 6 inches away, they would look at me, but they didn’t leave. There was something tender about it. I felt exactly like when I see hearts. It felt like love.
So today, just remember to love. On some level, we are all in this together. Whether it’s helping someone in the DOC, or reaching out to a friend or a family member. Just remember to love.
Thanks for bringing me some magic today, Pigeon Spies. Tomorrow you can go back to taunting and stealing.