My clown friend, Rosey, and I got together one September day to plan our first “Playshop.” We gathered all our props together and made our detailed decisions. People had asked us to present a day of laughter, play and fun and we finally had a date and location all set. We planned making balloon animals, puppet events, storytelling, craft projects, musical chairs, bean bag tic tac toe and races with wind-up toys. We laughed and laughed as we checked out the wind-up toys to make sure every one worked well. We had a wonderful fun-filled day and by the end of the afternoon, we felt sure that our first “Playshop” would be a great success.
The next day, I was at my dentist getting my teeth cleaned when someone came in and said: “Turn on the television. The twin towers in New York City have been run into by two planes.” We ran to look and sure enough they were already showing replays of the two planes hitting the towers. Then they collapsed. My dentists’ office was not too far from the Pentagon and soon there were reports of a plane crashing into the Pentagon. We went to the window and could see smoke off in the direction of the Pentagon. By then we could hear sirens off in the distance. I called my husband to make sure he knew the news because he was scheduled to do a tour down in the District of Columbia that day. Within a couple hours everything was gridlocked in the Washington D.C. area with people trying to get home.
What a contrast from the day before – 9/10 – when we were playing and laughing and then on 9-11 dealing with an attack practically in our backyard. About three days later, I got a phone call from a violin teacher. I had been on her waiting list for lessons for about six months. I was in the midst of telling her I couldn’t possibly take violin lessons NOW, when I stopped in mid-sentence and said: “Yes, this is perfect timing!” Something in me realized that this was the solution for me to get through the 9-11 trauma.
As a violinist, I had always wanted to reconstruct my vibrato to be wider and I accomplished that. And so it was, I started playing the violin again and the viola in a quartet. This experience brought back all the wonderful memories of my love for music and its healing qualities – bringing forth the best in human consciousness.
In the days after 9-11 and then weeks – I began to feel like our government was trying to tell us that we were supposed to be terrorized instead of the way we were before 9-11. I got the feeling we were even being told it was patriotic to feel terrorized. I refused to go there. I felt I had a right to be joyful, playful and enjoy laughing – like the way I was. I believe it’s not only my right, but my responsibility to remember that my safety and joy do not source from the government, but from GOD. And in remembering that, we can all be the way we were.