Wednesday, September 11, 2013

AM~Erica Hears the Bells

So anyway...

I have thought process today. And the process surrounds the events of 12 years ago.

I'm not going to completely go back into where I was at during that fateful day, but you can read about it HERE. It's when I posted about it last year. But there's something about this day that rings a bell...

Maybe I shouldn't be, but I am a fan of the works of Edgar Allen Poe. I'm not the only one, but the ones that know & get his work has got to have something not quite right with them. It's one thing to appreciate the work & try to understand it...and then it's the understanding it &/or having it have some meaning to you is another...

A few months ago, I had the privilege to take in a one man show (well...2-man show counting the music) at the Coterie Theater. An incredible actor, Hughston Walkinshaw, played Edgar Allen Poe in the reciting & interpretation of a few of Poe's works while trying to give a view of what might have been happening inside EAP's head. It was amazing, bone-chilling, terrifying & mesmerizing. It was called "Tell Tale Electric Poe", and there was haunting electric guitar sounds as background & filler music, as well as used as sound effects. It was 50 minutes of psychotic weirdness with only the rhythms & rhymes of the words taming the chaos. (read about when Teen Girl & I saw it in March HERE)

Hughston Walkinshaw as Edgar Allan Poe

One of the pieces done was "The Bells". If you have never experienced the poem of "The Bells" should. This poem brilliantly shows the chaotic mindset of Poe. It really shows that he really was all over the place in his head. And he tells it thru the different forms of bells.

He focuses on happy jingly bells, mellow ringing of wedding bells...then moves into frightening alarum bells...and then the toll of funeral bells.

I got thinking that these bells that EAP wrote about are telling of different parts in his life. They tell chimes on a clock or in a bell tower.

As I witnessed hearing tolling of bells today, it made me think about this poem.

Twelve years ago, today, there were frantic bells being rung!

Hear the loud alarum bells,
          Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now, their turbulency tells!
    In the startled ear of night
    How they scream out their affright!  
      Too much horrified to speak,
      They can only shriek, shriek,
          Out of tune,
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire,
In a mad expostulation with the deaf and frantic fire,  
      Leaping higher, higher, higher,
      With a desperate desire,
    And a resolute endeavor
    Now—now to sit or never,
  By the side of the pale-faced moon.  
      Oh, the bells, bells, bells!
      What a tale their terror tells
          Of Despair!
    How they clang, and clash, and roar!
    What a horror they outpour  
On the bosom of the palpitating air!
      Yet the ear it fully knows,
          By the twanging
          And the clanging,
      How the danger ebbs and flows;  
    Yet the ear distinctly tells,
          In the jangling
          And the wrangling,
    How the danger sinks and swells,—
By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells,  
          Of the bells,
    Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
          Bells, bells, bells—
  In the clamor and the clangor of the bells!

I can only imagine the fire alarms, the emergency sounds, the bells at fire stations, the dispatching sounds, and the sirens coming thru on radios all thru New York. It breaks my heart & leaves me near claustrophobically breathless. The fright in the eyes of dust-covered people of all walks of life running or frozen in shock. The horror of the clanging & twanging of the bells that tell of danger is horrifying. Watching it on TV, keeping up on the computer, listening to the radio...the horror, the crying, the resonated so loudly over the country & the world.

Then, it hit me this morning during some coverage of live memorial events going on:

Hear the tolling of the bells,  
          Iron bells!
What a world of solemn thought their monody compels!
    In the silence of the night
    How we shiver with affright
  At the melancholy menace of their tone!  
    For every sound that floats
    From the rust within their throats
          Is a groan.
    And the people—ah, the people,
    They that dwell up in the steeple,  
          All alone,
  And who tolling, tolling, tolling,
    In that muffled monotone,
  Feel a glory in so rolling
    On the human heart a stone—  
They are neither man nor woman,
They are neither brute nor human,
      They are Ghouls:
  And their king it is who tolls;
  And he rolls, rolls, rolls,  
    A pæan from the bells;
  And his merry bosom swells
    With the pæan of the bells,
  And he dances, and he yells:  
  Keeping time, time, time,
  In a sort of Runic rhyme,
    To the pæan of the bells,
        Of the bells:
  Keeping time, time, time,
  In a sort of Runic rhyme,
  To the throbbing of the bells,
  Of the bells, bells, bells—
    To the sobbing of the bells;
  Keeping time, time, time,
    As he knells, knells, knells,
  In a happy Runic rhyme,
  To the rolling of the bells,
    Of the bells, bells, bells:
    To the tolling of the bells,
  Of the bells, bells, bells, bells,
        Bells, bells, bells—
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

It was breaking my heart, as it should, to hear these slow, methodical bells. They are there for remembering particular times &/or people. They are often used during Memorial Day or All Saints Day in remembering those who have gone before us. And then, today, they strike a large iron-sounding brass bell at particular times of the morning:

at the exact time when the 1st of the Twin Towers was hit

at the exact time when the 2nd of the Twin Towers was hit

at the exact time when the Pentagon was hit

at the exact time the plane crashed in Pennsylvania

at the exact time of the collapse of the 1st Tower

at the exact time of the collapse of the 2nd Tower

Each and every one of these tolls is gut-wrenching.
Each and every one of these tolls breaks a thick, somber silence.

It's the telling of time in a clock that seemed to stop a long, long moment that didn't seem to have an end to it.

Each of those bells still chokes me up & gives me chills. As I know it does throughout an entire nation.

As we hear these bells at significant points of time in our lives, they wake up those an alarm clock that just goes off annually.

My hope for these tolling bells now is that it wakes us up as to how we felt toward each other right after the alarm bells went off initially. Because we could not be further from those times than we are now. Like a face ringing a bell, we need to think back to our patriotism that came after that. We've lost it. We need a wake-up call...but hopefully without the turbulence of sirens & emergency bells to do it. Because it happened on our own emergency number of 911 when it happened 12 years ago.

I have pointed it out before that on September 11, 2001, the terrorists changed the course of how we live. In that sense, they succeeded. And in the midst of it, we have turned against each other.

In this moment, a toll of a large, iron bell clangs in the memory of shared patriotism. The good news is that patriotism can be resurrected...if we allow it.

Are you doing your part to bring it back in togetherness...or crashing it in your own ideals?

Do you hear the bell?

Never, ever, ever forget, fellow Americans...ever.

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica (<<<=== still meant wholeheartedly)

No comments :

Post a Comment