Breaking News

 

Since I’ve spent so much time writing here about my 9/11 stories, I was struck by my as-it-happens experience today:

I’m sitting in a cafe in my neighborhood, working away on the free wifi (ah, the life of a freelancer), and catch a glimpse of “breaking news” on NY1.Earlier today, I witnessed Meredith Viera dressed as Lady Gaga on the Today Show, destroying any shred of faith I had left in the Fourth Estate, so in that light, tend to take all things pretending to be “serious journalism” with a signficant grain of salt.

But it seems to be a bit more serious, suspiscious packages found, etc, etc. You can read the news where they publish the news. But I was so struck by my response to it: I immediately thought, “How would I respond differently to 9/11-like news today than I did back then?” Our instincts are shaped by our experiences; we just don’t realize how much so until they are triggered once again by this kind of moment.

I felt a little tinge of fear. I tempered it with a good dose of New Yorker cynicism. I wondered what it would be like if this was “it” again. Bridges closed? Subways down? Air traffic halted? What will that mean for my evening, my weekend? I chastened myself for selfish thoughts. What does it mean for the safety of everyone around me?

But I’ll tell you what–one thing remained the same. Just as I did on 9/11, I’ve just kept on working. OK, so working and taking a five-minute break to blog about it. The digital world has changed since 2001, that’s for sure. I have one eye on the TV, CNN.com up in the background, but will shortly return to editing web sites and invoicing clients.

Perhaps that’s one instinct that’s deeply ingrained: just keep walking. One eye on the road. One eye on the news. Heart securely planted in a place of faith and overcoming. It’s worked for me so far.

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2 Responses to “Breaking News”


  1. 1 christine 29 October 2010 at 12:26

    Jen…
    Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. I got a text from my Mom about this just a few minutes ago that simply said, “don’t accept any packages for ink catridges.” And then another text that said, “it might be a bomb.” Now, I am always the first to tell my mom she’s being overly dramatic. But then she said the threat looked serious and then I checked the web and it was serious. But it still didn’t really phase me. Rather, it actually annoyed me. Flippin terrorists trying to ruin my Friday. Kinda makes me wonder, what will it take? But also makes me realize the lesson I learned on 9/11. That I have faith that I will be looked after and taken care of and I will not respond to the fear of that thing. I will only respond to that thing. And that is how I believe we choose to win the war on terror. Chin up, keep walking, keep working, keep living life.

    • 2 travelinglightjs 29 October 2010 at 12:27

      I just keep thinking of the day that our mail room staff at Saks distributed rubber gloves to everyone so we could open our mail safely even if it was anthrax-laced. You know, just a normal Tuesday.


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