11 September 2012. Such a beautiful night on this 11th anniversary of 9/11. The memorials were quite muted this year – no public speakers, just the reading of the names by the family members and a moment of silence before the opening bell. If one didn’t know this was the anniversary it would be hard to find out from the daily clues. It’s almost as if the city has put it behind us, boxed it up and stored it in the attic. Even the newspapers hardly mentioned it. But the city knows. It is buried deep within its city bones. Even though we cleaned up and carted the dust and ashes of the twin towers and the blood and bones of the victims, the city carries this tragedy deep within. For those who lived through the day we will never forget. For those who have yet to be born and who will only hear the stories of the airplanes flying into the buildings and the great fires and people jumping to their deaths and the final collapse of those two buildings, they will hear of the anniversary and think about it as I think of Pearl Harbor: a momentous date in our country’s history but nothing that draws any emotion. It’s hard to imagine that all future generations will simply not know the fear that we felt that day and the days afterward. But then I remind myself, this is just an egocentric, narcissistic view. Forgetting and moving on from great events is just the natural course of life. The one thing that gives me comfort tonight is the knowledge that the fear and terror and heroism that was born that day is buried deep within this city and will not be forgotten.
8 September 2012. I am in the throes of setting up my existence on the Internet thanks to my brother Chris who has come over to do the heavy lifting of getting me set up with a web site, email, spam and spider protection, etc etc. We also have a bottle of No 2 vodka, distilled by Industry City Distillery in Brooklyn, no less! We pour our drinks from Bottle 1012 and it is very smooth and a great complement to the task at hand.
Setting up a new existence is an appropriate way to think about this series of writings since existence has been a constant theme throughout my life: understanding and accepting my existence in the face of not knowing my Korean biological existence and randomly being thrust into an American one. In between these two existences, I was a baby, alone, without a mother and without a family. Someone, I don’t know who it was, named me Sohn Soon and assigned me the number 6998 so I could be adopted from Korea to America.
Tonight, on the Internet, I choose to be Erica from America which I find funny since the picture and history clearly says I am from Korea. Chris and I laugh about the irony of this. But in the end, there is no other place to begin. In res media. Welcome to the paradox of my existence. ELM