Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saudade on Sept. 11
This evening I am listening to Portuguese fado music. The fado is rooted in the concept of saudade, loosely translated an intense longing for things lost. Lives, for instance, thousands on this day 10 years ago, hundreds of thousands since, mostly without purpose. Or the rule of law that says one may not be held indefinitely without a trial by a jury of one's peers, or even without being charged with any crime at all. Or the idea that a person should be judged on content of character, not choice of church or of headdress. Or the right to communicate and/or travel freely without being surveilled by the CIA and the New York City police and strip searched, virtually or literally. Or the notion that state-sanctioned assassination inevitably leads to more problems than it solves. These, and an economy devastated by 10 years of ill-advised and ineffective war, are the wages of 9/11, or, rather, our reaction to it. Celebrate that.