9/11 was, literally, a different lifetime ago. I was still at Jeune Lune, still married to Chris, my mother was in perfect health...We had a Jeune Lune intern living with us, and his girlfriend was visiting from New York for the weekend, so stayed several extra days. Together, like everyone else in the country, we watched hours of footage and wondered how it would mean the world would change.
That was soon answered. Years of colored threat levels, of shoeless airports and travel containers, of subway bombs and nightclub attacks, of vilifying the Islamic other and politicizing the personal (and the idiotic) until many times I don't recognize the world. At the same time, we've developed a citizen-journalism based news network (including my Twitter feed that kept me amused, informed, and exasperated last night), and elected our first Islamic congressman.
The news of Osama's death last night was a very adult moment for me. It's the first time I can remember waiting anxiously for the whitehouse.gov broadcast, and thinking about how the world would hopefully be very different for my daughter. I'm not glad — I don't think I could ever rejoice about someone's death, no matter how evil they were. I fear for retaliation, and I fear just as much the "easy answer" of thinking that now that Bin Laden is gone, the kind of extreme hatred/fear/misunderstanding that engendered the whole situation will somehow magically be over. I certainly don't know how to go back to as it was before, and I'm not sure we want to anyway. This is a far too simplistic way (because that what blogs are for) of summing up some very complex thoughts that I still have not fully considered.
But it feels like just *maybe*, if we don't fuck it up, it could be some kind of new beginning. I hope so.