Thursday, September 10, 2009

In The Arms of Your Angel...

We are now just on the cusp of 9/11/01......

Somewhere tomorrow you will hear Sarah McLachlan singing "Angel".....

Somehow the song has linked up with 9/11....

My own 9/11 experiences have kept me still spinning even now.....my own pathetic suburban PTSD version of actual pain and loss.....

Somehow my restaurant friends kept me from actually dying that day when I was in New York mourning my brother's death....

I missed being a part of history on Flight 93 because an old school French prick I used to work with spotted me on the street and recognized my loss and pain at a distance of 50m and ten years..... and swooped me up and annointed me with Calvados and Champagne.....

And caused me to miss my flight.....

That collision of culture, hard work and working class loyalty that diverted me and saved me still keeps me going.

The actual song "Angel" is not so much about salvation.....but about heroin.

Sarah McLahlan had a problem....or her guitar guy had a problem......or they both did.

Whatever.

Not to take away from one of the greatest voices in Christendom....or a beautiful song...

But eight years out....I have conceded the terrorist thing.....and spend all my time dealing with the heroin thing...

Watching your loved ones and workers being sucked into a vortex that makes 9/11 seem tame

Even so.....

Pretend I have a friend who is a hard core rock climber and was enrolled in a hard core University on 9/11.

He and his friends were sent 100 miles south to help with climbing, setting rigs and recovering bodies after the attack. He wound up working mostly with a fire station from Staten Island....trying to find and pull out their guys.

It was a no-go.

I had soccer guys trapped in NYC that week whose volunteer work involved hiding in the wreckage pretending to be corpses.

There was nothing enough left of any of the three thousand people who had perished that would give the cadaver dogs enough of a sense of accomplishment that could keep them going forward. Kids were hired to hide in the wreckage to cheer up the cadaver dogs with some sense of success in the midst of hopelessness

Anyway.....my rock-climbing friend found no one, and saved no one.

But he got a T-shirt....from a Staten Island Fire Company......

Eight years later, he wore it one day when we were working with some Stanford kids.

One of the girls had the same shirt......

Her dad was one of the fireman my friend had spent a week searching for in vain......

They wound up talking late into the night......while I waited and watched.

There were lots of tears......my friend is comfortable with tears since he lost one of his eyes and half his face later in Fallujah, not to mention the whole lung thing he won't talk about ......and his fake eye weeps whether he wants it to or not.....

The girl found a connection with my friend.....

She had been so angry with her dad for having had a job that took him away from her.... when she really needed him.......Everyone else had a dad, goddammit!

Until she met my friend......

An actual living, breathing hero......just like her dad.....

She came out of the connection with a sense of peace and release....

So.....if the signature song of 9/11 is actually about heroin and release.....

And heroin rules and ruins our life every single day.....

I hear God laughing.....

But......there are still actual angels out there......

And I was priveledged to watch one in action.......

I still challenge you to listen to the song without tearing up.....

Now that you know the back story.....

You spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For the break that would make it okay....

There's always one reason
To feel not good enough...
And it's hard at the end of the day.

I need some distraction.....
Oh beautiful release....
Memories seep from my veins.

Let me be empty
And weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight.....

In the arms of the angel....
Fly away from here....

From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear....

You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie.....

You're in the arms of your angel
May you find some comfort here...

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn......
There's vultures and thieves at your back.

And the storm keeps on twisting
You keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack.

It don't make no difference
Escaping one last time
It's easier to believe.....in this sweet madness
oh.....
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here.

From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear.

You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie...........

You're in the arms of the angel............

May you find...... some comfort here......

You're in the arms of your angel.....

May you find some comfort.....

Here.......

3 Comments:

Blogger kathy said...

Thank you my Michael. And DJ.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Christine Bottaro said...

The lyrics really bring some memories back. Thanks for posting.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Joanie said...

Right to the heart. One of your best.

7:44 AM  

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