me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you know I've always gone down to Ground Zero on the 9/11 anniversary to hear the names read. The first and second years, with friends; after that, by myself. I knew a couple of people who died, but not well, and I went not really for them, but for everyone. Those first two years, I saw that people came and stood and listened for their loved ones' names, and then left. I began to wonder about the people who had no one to listen for their names, and I thought someone should.

The first couple of years, though only first responders and families could get into the ceremony, it was broadcast through loudspeakers on all sides of the site, and traffic was diverted, so all of us down there could hear. In the years after, the areas where people could stand and listen got smaller and further away, but the loudspeakers were still there. This year, probably the last time the names will be read, there were no loudspeakers. Also, because they were so worried about security -- a legitimate worry -- the perimeter had been moved out. I couldn't get anywhere near.

So I didn't get to hear the names a last time. I thought I would, but I didn't. A fitting metaphor for the day itself.

If you've read ABSENT FRIENDS, you may remember the afterword about Turtles in the Pond. When I couldn't get to the site, I went instead to the turtle pond and sat there for awhile.

Sept. 11, 2011
turtle pond flowers

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