Enchantment in a 5 and 10-Cent StoreWritten by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
The other night as my mind was wandering, at perhaps 3:00 AM, I had a lovely encounter with past. I was remembering some wanderings of late childhood. I was about ten or eleven and magic journey was a bus that took me downtown Bridgeport.
The first part of magic journey was just waiting for bus all by myself. I felt very grown-up and by today's standards I was! I would lock house, put my key on a string around my neck, hide it, and walk two blocks to wait by telephone pole for bus. When public bus came I got on, said "Hello" to driver--who I recognized from lots of trips--paid and sat down. I always sat up front, liking to be near him, just in case I needed help. Then I would read. Usually I had a great book with me, maybe Little House on Prairie or Nancy Drew. Whatever it was, time flew and before I knew it, I was stepping off bus on Main Street.
The downtown streets of Bridgeport seemed so busy and crowded! I was not afraid though. I knew my destination. Inside of my pocket I clutched my few dollars and made straight for my enchanted castle. There it was--the 5 and 10-cent store in all of its glory! A perfect palace! I had a wonderful food counter with stools that swirled around if I was hungry. I could just hop up and order anything I wanted--an ice cream soda or a hamburger. I had a bathroom so I didn't need to feel desperate, and I had this whole glorious store to walk around. The endless aisles with glass counters just full of items to touch and dream about! There was a make-up aisle and I could imagine ahead a few years. I loved to look at colors of make-up and especially lipsticks. How would I look all dolled up--beautiful, yes? Then there was pocketbook and wallet aisle. That was fun, and candy aisle and even house-wares was interesting.
Disenchantment All Around -- America under SiegeWritten by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
I can only imagine that many of you are in shock, as I have been also this week. Today, listening on radio as I drove, I heard it reported that 'Andy' supplied many American flags down by what was World Trade Center. When asked about his donated flags, he simply said, "I save people, I save their spirits." I think that he captures what has to be each of our bottom lines, in what we offer ourselves and others. We need to think in terms of 'saving' spirits. This means our own spirits as well as being there for others.
Eventually new buildings will be built but it is really human capacity to stay uplifted and spirit to do so that is so precious and hard to hold on to in moments of 'terror'.
For me, although I didn't directly lose a loved one or friend, I found myself since Tuesday A.M. grieving and feeling traumatized. New York City has been my city for many years -- I went to college there, I saw my first Broadway show there, I return there often -- almost every week for classes, appointments, eating out, etc. In fact, just last Thursday I was walking down by Canal Street because I had two appointments right near World Trade Center. It was such a beautiful, sunny late summer day. I was feeling so good, healthy and really aware of my good fortune. I would just stand at different corners and look around at stores, trendy restaurants and of course up at skyline. I was so impressed with how clean and how safe it felt to be even in lower Manhattan! It was an Enchanted Moment for me.
How ironic! So my heart goes out to all of us. If we could, we should hug each other, hold hands and feel warm of life that is so precious. The computer hasn't gone that far but we can each come up with some way to help save our spirits!
I also wanted to share with you what has really helped me this past week. I think I have taken consolation in wonderful touching stories of miracles and acts of kindness that have come out of this tragedy. For instance, I heard about men who carried another person down fifteen flights of stairs who broke his ankle on way down! I saw video camera recording that a physician made as he walked through ashes offering assistance after cloud of ash and debris literally overtook him. Talk about picking yourself up and just carrying on! I heard about woman who 'accidentally' set her clock for 6:15 P.M. instead of 6:15 A.M. I heard about so many Jewish men who missed being there as they were late due to special prayers that are said one week prior to Rosh Hashanah. I heard about man who sat down and finished his reading because elevator was too full -- just when plane hit. I heard about fireman that literally rode down, like a roller coaster collapse of building and went down eighty something flights with only a broken leg. I've heard about Blood Banks full -- unheard of! So many miracles! So many acts of kindness!