We have been glued to the television for the past two nights, watching and rewatching the footage from 9-11. Somehow, I can never tear myself away. How clearly I remember my husband calling me from Zurich, as I stopped at the end of our driveway with the brick of a Nokia in my hand. “They think someone has attacked the Trade Center in New York,” he said, as this was well before it was clear that we were, indeed, attacked. All day long, the teachers stuck their heads in the lounge to catch a glimpse of the news; no one had smartphones then, or laptops, or computers on our desks. It was probably a good thing because we were better able to keep the children calm throughout the day.
Now twenty years later, I am watching the adults who were children when one or more of their parents were taken from them. I am listening to the people whose partner was taken from them that day. So much was taken from us; my husband’s department with Zurich Insurance was closed down six months later, due to all the claims, but the loss of a job is nothing compared to the loss of a life.
I enjoyed finding new pumpkins in the garden yesterday, as they showed me how life carries on. Some rogue creature must have planted the seeds from last year’s autumnal display. Unbeknownst to us, they are growing of their own accord. And thankfully, Illinois has a respite from the dreadful humidity. I can’t tell you how miserable it’s been to be so hot for so long…at least for me.
This week is the beginning of Bible Study Fellowship, where I will lead a group of women as we study the book of Matthew. How wonderful it is to be teaching again, although this time I will be with adults, and it will be more of a facilitating job than a teaching job. The theme is Unexpected, and I love that, for so much that comes to us is, after all, unexpected.
I have finished Pushkin Vertigo’s The Second Woman by Louise Mey for their first ever digital readalong beginning on the 20th, and I have picked up Hour of The Witch by Chris Bohjalian for the R.I.P. XVI. It’s so interesting to me that both of these novels center around women who are “misunderstood” (abused) by their husbands. Although one is a thriller, and the other is historical fiction, they are both quite excellent.
Finally, I am greatly anticipating the announcement of the Booker Prize longlist for 2021. From my Booker Prize email: ”This coming Tuesday, our fabulous Booker dozen of thirteen longlisted novels is being reduced to a shortlist of six. At 4pm BST on Tuesday September 14, you can watch the 2021 shortlist announcement live on our Facebook page and YouTube channel.” I have not had a chance to read all thirteen books of the longlist, but I do hope The China Room by Sunjeev Sahota is included in the shortlist.
I wish a most happy Sunday to all of you, and a joyful week ahead.