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Dance Each Day Like Our Last

I was in a hospital bed in India was very sick, dehydrated, and hooked-up to an IV. It was around six in the morning the nurse with big brown eyes who spoke no English rustled me out of my deep sweaty sleep. She handed me the Hindustan Times, and I pushed it away.

by Elizabeth Brandon

It was so tired, so sick, I just wanted to sleep. She rustled me again, her eyes were urgent, and forced the front page into my hands. I abruptly awoke, my stomach, went queasy. This didn’t happen there must be some kind of mistake…

I glanced at the paper, my heart sank, as I looked at the crumbling towers. How could this happen? All I wanted to do was contact my family, get out of the hospital bed, and see my  work mates. I felt a rush of panic and dizziness – how could something like this happen?

The next month we were glued to the TV screens watching every tidbit of news from CNN, Star TV, and BBC. Each had their own perspective of what happened and would happen next.

It was in October the day the US invaded Afghanistan. I treated it like any other work day put on my work clothes and went to the office. My colleague and I were meeting with the  CEO of the business we were consulting and placing a request for better working conditions for his employees. He looked at us and said, ” I’m in no mood today. I have family in Afghanistan.”

You could see the pain in his eyes and the weight on his shoulders. It is there memories of what I remember from that fateful day of the invasion of Afghanistan and the months that trudged into the lion’s den.

My perspective of terrorism changed as we  sat in a political hot bed we were told  we were possible targets white and North American is was wise to not to go into Old Delhi under any circumstances. We were to be cautious at all times whether were in Market places or traveling to any destinations deemed safe.

In December just before Christmas Vacation the Indian Parliament only twenty minutes from where I lived was stormed by Pakistani Terrorists. I remember walking into the office, everyone pale, wondering  when would be the next attack and would India retaliate on its northern neighbors.

On Christmas Vacation my husband and I backpacked throughout Rajasthan. I remember looking out at the vast landscape, the road ways, and  watching the Indian tanks move to defends it borders. We looked at each other and attempted to guess the news of the day.

It was the next morning I sipped my coffee and inspected the news in the internet cafe. Only to discover our next travel destination had a detour there would be no camel safari in Jesselmer as long as there was fighting and gun shots along the border.

Our travel plans derailed we spent extra time in Udaipur. It was on New Years Eve  on the hostel roof top we danced under the stars with all of the hostel workers as well a motley crew of dirty backpacker’s one Israeli, a couple of Aussies, and a few Germans. It was that night we danced to the beat of the music with merriment we did the light bulb, we laughed, and we rang in the New Year of 2002 with hope for a better future.

9/11 shaped the globalized community and changed all of our worlds on that fateful day. Terrorism has changed the way we travel and the way we think about our world. The crumbling of the towers, the loss of life, still makes me sick to my stomach. If we are ever to defeat the chaos  terrorism has inflicted on our psyche it is by  showing no fear and living each day like it is our last.

How has 9/11 changed the way you view the world?

Categories: 9/11 Afghan War India Life musings my life NaBloPoMo new delhi Old Delhi Pakistan random thoughts September 11th terrorism thoughts travel Udaipur

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

24 replies

  1. I was at work with the CNN ticker open on my computer screen. Just settling in for the day with my coffee in hand, and my graphic designer standing behind me with a stack of files to review. I can’t remember what we were talking about, but we literally stopped mid-sentence when the images of the planes appeared on my monitor. He made this horrible sound, this high sort of keening wail because he was hearing impaired and forgot how to modulate his voice. He made the sound we all would have made, I think, in the absence of social convention. When I could breathe again, I grabbed the phone to try to call family in Bronx and Brooklyn to make sure they weren’t in the towers on business when it happened. I heard from them three days later, and cried.
    We are more cautious travelers, now – more skeptical and more aware. My 88 year old grandmother-in-law was pulled out of the line-up at airport security and had to ask her sons, for the first time, to help her unlace her shoes and remove her sweater. Our view of the world is universally darker now, and that is a tragedy.

    1. It must have been a terrifying time for you and your family. I couldn’t imagine waiting for three days it must have been devastating. Travel has changed and it’s odd that they would target your Grand Mother she should have been given respect to be left in peace and fly with dignity.

    2. I feel that way too, Desi. I refuse to fly at all, so I have to drive a couple of thousand miles to see some relatives. Can’t have Granny travel either, because I could not allow her to be treated the way it happens today. The world is universally darker now, and I can’t imagine how it will get better.

  2. That and take care…not to encroach upon others, to take the time to realise Hillary and ‘it takes a village’ is right, and not the ‘every person for themselves’ outlook of US Tea Partiers. The US made mistakes before and after 11 September, and I fear in the rush to retaliate, we failed to take time to ponder our mistakes.

    With the theme of your post, yes… live each day as our last is how we should live, and too often we lose that common sense philosophy in the details of the day.

    1. I think mistakes were made – it was known for the most part that he was in Pakistan. But they also had to nip the militants in Afghanistan. I think they had a containment strategy for Iraq and that’s were the waters start to get murky…

  3. Ironically, the tea party members I know are far from “every person for herself” sorts – they’re simply concerned with economic responsibility, the rule of law and accountability on the part of government. Of course, there are exceptions in every group. Still….

    As for September 11, I was on my way to work when I happened to catch the report of the first plane. I sat and watched, and then, blessedly, was able to contact my aunt who lived on West 16th in lower Manhattan. Later, because I didn’t know what else to do, I went to work, out on the docks. The strongest memory is in total contrast to what was happening in New York. My world that morning was totally silent. There wasn’t a boat, a jet ski, an airplane. It was as though the world had been swept clean of life.

  4. I was in the Uk but my niece was in New York and quite near the towers so she was pretty traumatised. I will never forget it. In some ways the reaction to it made things worse not better in my opinion and we all live in a more divided and suspicious world now. Sad

    1. I worked at ESPN at the time..we all had TVs in our offices. My boss called me from the other side of the building and told me to turn it on. Everyone just watched silently. As the day progressed we tried to get in touch with our loved ones – I had a brother working in NY, and a sister, who, like me, often went to NY on business. My brother was okay, and trying to get out of the city. My sister and I had both stayed in CT that day. I turned my attention to my ESPN co-workers who worked in the city. I managed to reach my friend Sean. He was organizing a group to walk out. They made it okay.
      I thought at the time that the only good thing that would come of it was the fierce devotion to each other and the country that all Americans then felt. But it didn’t last. We all seem to hate each other again.

      1. It was a heart-breaking moment in history that brought everyone together and united over the same common goals. However, time changes, we question, we debate the process, and people begin to turn against each other. At the same time the relief you must have felt finding out your loved ones and friends were okay. I can only imagine the panic of trying to locate everyone that day.

    2. It is sad that we live in a more divided and suspicious world. Michael Ignatieff wrote a piece 9/11 and the Age of Sovereign Failure. I think he sums up the thought that after 9/11 we lost our childs view how government could protect us and over the decade we have grown more cynical on what government can and can’t do.

  5. OMG.. what a powerful post… I can’t even imagine what it felt like when you were handed that newspaper…. in a hospital bed in India… or the months that followed…. I will never forget that day. I just got into work, and I had the radio tuned to a morning show that always had spoofs. At first, I thought it was a spoof… then I realized it was real…. my office became sureal to say the least. Several girls who shared an office, had a portable TV. I went into their room. They were religious, and were praying and holding hands. They took my hands, and included me. While I am not religious, I felt so connected. It was while we were all holding hands we watched the second tower fall. Living where I do, I don’t know anyone who didn’t either somehow know someone who lost their life that day, or had a near miss….

    1. I was very sick and at first thought I was hallucinating or it was a hoax. It was an unimaginable event no one ever expected to happen – how could we ever predict such destruction? Sometimes when something so awful happens the only thing we have is prayer to keep us connected and think of our loved ones. So much devastating loss happened I think it must of changed the shape and perspective of everyone involved touched one way or the other.

  6. I remember watching the news channel that day in total disbelief as the plane hit the tower and in what seemed like a re-run of the first hit the second plane scythed through leaving both towers burning with plumes of smoke gushing from the windows, and… Well the horrors are there for all of us to remember and it was a world changing event as you say, something that will be with us forever…

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this one my friend…


  7. My husband and I were on vacation on that day. We were about to take the boat out and flipped on the TV to see what the weather was going to be like. We stood watching, shocked and sickened. We thought of our kids–one at her apartment in suburbia, one in a college dorm, and another working at the time in downtown Chicago. My heart lurched, I called the kids, especially frightened for the one in the city.

    My children were fine. Safe. Not everyone was so lucky.

  8. What a great reflection. Beautiful.

    September 11th is almost unfathomable to imagine, even though it actually happened. It truly opened my eyes to the fact that we’re no invincible, but the 10 years following it taught me not to life in fear. It’s an impossible way to go about your day. Live fully and seek out the truth as much as possible. That’s my motto. 🙂

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