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A Message From Eve Ensler About the Recent Violence

Wed, 09/12/2001

I Have Been Thinking

I have been thinking about violence. I have been thinking about an airplane full of terrified women and men and children smashing into a tower full of unsuspecting women and men who were just sipping their morning coffee. I have been thinking of the burning people jumping from the 100th floor, jumping for their lives. I have been thinking about the hundreds of firefighters and police officers who were lost, crushed under a collapsing tower. I have been thinking about a husband waiting in his office for 14 hours for his wife who worked on the 104th floor, his wife who had not called, who was probably never going to call, and yet he was still waiting. I was thinking of the man who called his mother from the hijacked plane to tell her he loved her, to remember he loved her. I have been thinking about the debris and the dust on New Yorkers' shoes and how shocked we are here in America, how protected we have been. I have been thinking about all the war torn countries I have been to, Bosnia, Kosova, Israel, Afghanistan, and the dust on the peoples' shoes and the debris. I have been thinking about the people who were driven to hijack airplanes with knives and box cutters and fly them through buildings, who were ready, eager to lose their lives to hurt other people. I have been thinking about why, what would make people want to do that. I have been thinking about the words retaliation and punishment and act of war. I have been thinking about violence, what it feels like to be nothing to someone else. What it feels like to be a consequence of someone else's disassociated rage, disconnected fury. I have been thinking about the cycle of hurt for hurt, nation against nation, tit for tat. I have been thinking about how deeply something else is required. I have been thinking about the courage it requires to think about something other than violence as a response to violence. I am thinking about the complexity of this and the loneliness of this and the helplessness and the sorrow that would be felt in the space where violence once was and the grief. I have been thinking that for those of us who are living on the planet right here, right now, we must live in this dangerous space, allowing the helplessness, the grief, the sorrow to create new wisdom that can and will and must free us from this terrible prison of violence. I urge you, each one of you - fall into this space, weep, be lost, let go, die into the grief - inside the emptiness and the pain it will be revealed.

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