How old were you when 9/11 happened? Exactly eleven years ago, most of you were probably very young—too young to completely understand what was happening—and some of you probably hadn’t even been born yet. I was a high school senior when those planes crashed into the Twin Towers. I remember waking up on a school day to the news, and although New York was so far away, I remember feeling that my own city, my own home, was a little bit sadder, a little less safer.

If so much of art is born out of grief and tragedy, then it isn’t surprising that 9/11 has inspired a multitude of songs, books, and films. The facts remain the same, but the feelings take on a different form each time the story is told. I’d like to think that when feelings change shape, people’s hearts get lighter too, until all that grief has turned to strength, and all that tragedy has become hope.

Last weekend I unearthed my copy of David Levithan’s Love is the Higher Law, which dives into the aftermath of the attacks from the perspectives of three struggling teens. One of my favorite passages reads: “Since it’s the first full week of school, all the supplies are brand-new. The crayons are unbroken; some of them even have points. The pencils are newly sharpened, the erasers bright pink. I can’t help but think, This was supposed to be a good day.

If Claire, Jasper, and Peter were real, they’d be all grown up by now. I wonder if there have been enough good days—maybe enough to compensate for that one awful, painful day—in the past eleven years. I wonder if their faith in life, and in humanity, has been fully restored at some point, by someone or something. I wonder if in some strange way it has all evened out somehow.

I hope it has. I hope they’ve turned out okay.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2012 at 8:00:21 am and is filed under Candy, Reality Bytes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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3 Responses to “What We Read: Love Is The Higher Law”

  1. Ana Beatriz Quijano Barrios

    That’s the high law.

  2. Ayessa

    Miss Marla, Love is the Higher Law is one of my favorite books. All I remember about that day was how scared I felt afterwards because of what happened.

    When I was older, I felt a little hatred for those who did terrible things like that. But through this book, I learned how to forgive and to move on and just hope for better things to come. My favorite line is this one: “Gone is not forgotten, but our lives cannot be a memorial.” :)

  3. marla

    Love that line too, Ayessa!

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