Natalia J. Garland
September 11, 2001, required the personal adjustment of every
American. Over the past ten years, I have attempted to understand
that horrific day: its underlying causes, its far-reaching
consequences, and how it changed my daily life. The method and the
outcome of this attempt was the writing of over 200 essays about
9/11, current events, the profession of social work, and some of
my day-to-day activities.
As I bring closure
to this project, I will turn to Charles Dickens' David
Copperfield to guide me to the completion of this phase of my
self-development and my pursuit of truth and reason.
Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether
that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must
[End of quote.]
Thank you to all my
heroes whom I have discovered on my journey: the 9/11 responders
(and all responders throughout the world who secure our safety);
our military men and women; our Border Patrol agents; every person
listed in my Bibliography Notes who had the courage to grapple with
difficult problems; and every reader of Wave of Consciousness,
though we have never met, but who nonetheless enabled me to
cultivate the reality of United We Stand.
The purpose of
writing--beyond self-expression--is to publish and thereby make a
genuine connection with readers. I hope, in this last essay, that
our connection is re-affirmed rather than extinguished. Like David
Copperfield toward Agnes, I have tried to be honest--to be a
trustworthy source of inquiry and ideas. May that record prevail
over distance and time.
And now, I tried to tell her of the struggle I had had, and the
conclusion I had come to. I tried to lay my mind before her,
truly, and entirely I tried to show her how I had hoped I had come
into the better knowledge of myself and of her, how I had resigned
myself to what that better knowledge brought, and how I had come
there, even that day, in my fidelity to this.
Agnes, I must now
turn to other projects and diversify my methods. I could write
essays forever--I enjoy it so much--but the consuming effort only
hinders other creative endeavors.
And now, do I close my task, subduing my desire to linger yet,
these faces fade away. But, one face, shining on me like a
Heavenly light by which I see all other objects, is above them and
beyond them all. And that remains.
[End of quote.]
It will not surprise
anyone that the face which I kept before my eyes throughout
my essay-writing was the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in
New York City. But, there are other visual forms that motivate and
inspire: the Statue of Liberty, the Lincoln Memorial, the Cross.
The historical and spiritual meanings of such images helped me to
stay focused on America's greatest values throughout this era of
crisis, conflict, and distrust.
The Wave of
Consciousness essays will remain on the internet for anyone who
cares to spend some time here. My commitment, at this turning
point, is to the freedom of speech and the access of information.
Dear reader, I have given you my best, such as it is. God Bless
America. (Written 12/01/10: bibliography available.)
Until we meet