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It was a brilliant Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, and, sleepy-eyed, I met my friend at the airport for our flight to Gloucester, Massachusetts, for our annual retreat—Everything as usual, or so I thought.

Only airborne a short while, the intercom clicked on. “This is your Captain speaking—Air Traffic Control is delaying our arrival at Boston. Some difficulties, they’re having. We’ll keep you posted.” I buckled my seat-belt, intuiting that something was very wrong. My friend didn’t agree and our conversation about terrorism continued until interrupted.

It was the Captain again. “There’s been another change. Air Traffic Control directs us to land at the nearest airport. Since we’re closest to Indianapolis, that’s where will land. They’re expecting us, as well as other planes ordered to clear the skies.” Only while deplaning did the Captain inform us of the terrorist bombings in Manhattan.

Slowly, the ghoulish pieces of the nightmare begin to coalesce while listening to the car rental’s radio on the way to Gloucester: a series of suicide planes had crashed into and leveled the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center; another crashed into the side of the Pentagon; and still another, intended for the U. S. Capitol or The White House, crashed-landed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, thanks to Todd Beamer and other passengers who almost subdued their four hijackers.

Panic, fire, dense smoke, mangled and burnt bodies, shocking injuries, lingering deaths, families decimated, destruction of symbolic edifices, disruption of the economy and much more scarred America’s psyche—an emotional scarring it still bears, despite the media’s sanitized coverage, twenty years later.

Only later did Osama bin Laden, founder of the pan-Islamic militant organization, al-Qaeda, take responsibility for this atrocity, his choice of the date to avenge the September 11, 1683 Christian victory over the Turks at the battle of Vienna.

Prayer and Memorials help, but the scar of 9/11 remains: No one has forgiven anyone—the war continues.

At 7:30 A.M., I awoke with this corrective dream:

After a long absence, Cardinal Ritter Institute hired me to work in the office as an accountant. The offer surprised me, because I’ve no training in that field, nor interest. Yet, I clocked in on the designated morning, dismayed by the noise of the employees, some of whom remembered me. Small cubicles crammed the windowless room where I would work.

This disturbing glimpse into my psyche seems to reflect the busyness I’ve set upon myself, perhaps unnecessarily: very short walks outdoors with my cane and helper, additional stretching and range of motion exercises, putting up Christmas decorations, yesterday’s ZOOM holiday party with a quartet of Victorian-dressed carolers, taking over more of my self-care—all of which has exhausted me further.

As a young social worker in the employ of Cardinal Ritter Institute I had toughed it out visiting housebound patients in the city, in return for which my medical benefits covered ineffectual drugs, multiple joint surgeries, and rehab. I had to look normal, and working looked normal. Yet, rheumatoid arthritis continued ravaging my body. Better to have filed for Disability at that time, but I was too proud.

Although I was credentialed in my field, I was also ill suited for the work.

And to bring this absurdity to a head, My Dreamer has me accepting work as an accountant: Numbers have always flummoxed me. And the windowless room speaks for itself.

That I’ve been off course is obvious—Back to listening and Step One…

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