He received the talking stick when his turn came. He held it in his hand. He looked at it. He looked at all of us. He looked out at the world around us. We waited expectantly for him to speak.
Time went by. He did not speak. People began to shuffle in their places. Still, he remained silent. We remained attentive to whatever he might say to us. But he said nothing. Instead, we heard only the birds and insects and the breeze of the world around us. Then after several minutes he passed the talking stick on to the next person.
- personal communication
Saturday morning, September 11, I woke to my alarm at 7:30, which I set the night before not wanting to oversleep. I got up quickly to watch live the 8:00 am performance in tribute to September 11, 2001 “Table of Silence Project 9/11” - hosted by the New York City Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and performed the Buglisi Dance Theater.
Describing the performance, choreographer Jacqulyn Buglisi writes about her intention of the project “…we wish to achieve the dual purpose of celebrating and honoring peace, through listening, a united moment of silence - a call for Peace in our world… “
It was a presentation of dance, flute, shell trumpet, drum, and voice that reverberated within silence and at the same time engulfed silence. It paid homage to the loss, pain, grief, and confusion of 9/11. The unexpected part watching it, and what wanted me to write about it, was my inner feeling of life, an exclamation of life – reverberating with a silence within deeper than any words – a feeling of connection to life significantly larger than myself.
It is a connection that I have come to know is accessible with intention and belief of its possibility.