People have been posting about 9-11 all day. Some really heroic over-the-top ‘Murica type stuff, and others some really snarky calls for people to STFU about 9-11 and terrorism and war. Even a few activism attempts at recognizing that other people have died on this day too, or that other disasters have had far more victims.
My relationship to the attacks over a decade ago is emotionally complicated. I didn’t know anyone personally who died, but it was terrifying dreams of skyscrapers falling down that drew me to writing down my dreams in the first place. The very first two or three dreams I ever wrote down back in 1991 were of skyscrapers falling.
I had dreams of skyscrapers falling in the decade after that. In fact, two days before 9-11, I dreamed of terrorists attacking the Moscone center in San Francisco. The dust plume from the attack looked just like what later would be on every person’s TV screen.
In the months after 9-11, I continued to have rehash dreams, and then they stopped. And in the decade-plus since then, I have not had those dreams. Other prophetic dreams, sure. But not those.
Years ago I wrote a dream article about my quest to understand prophetic dreams, and how sometimes, I think that we (because there are others who dreamed of 9-11 or other disasters) sometimes hear the echoes before the moment that changes us all. That some of us, for whatever reason, are tuned in and bear witness.
We’re holding that space as a witness for years before the event, perhaps not ever knowing why, but we are. We aren’t there to change it, to prevent it, just to feel it, see it, feel the ripples and echoes before it happens, so that when the event does actually take place, we really notice it.
I still don’t understand it, but it’s something I’ve thought a lot about, particularly as I’m working right now on a dreamwork book that tries to help explain this for the many others who have had experiences like this.
I know that it took me years to come to terms with the idea of being the witness. I always felt guilty, like I was supposed to do something, fix something, change something, not just watch it and grieve it.
For me, 9-11 isn’t so much about politics. It’s about a rip in the fabric of our lives, a moment that changed the world, a moment of pain, and of death.