Thursday, September 15, 2011

music and healing: September memories

These recent days, people across the world have been remembering and reflecting upon the attacks in the United States on 11 September ten years ago. One of the interesting stands of reflection is that in the aftermath of the attacks, as people came to terms with the effects both personally and in a wider sense. they chose to and were able to turn to the arts -- music, Theatre, visual arts, dance, writing -- both as ways to help understand their own and others’ feelings and thoughts about the changes these events brought, and also at times to take a break from wrestling with that. It was a sense of community that brought people out to Broadway when the lights went back on several days after September 11, and it was a sense of hope and healing that brought them to the large benefit concerts and the small coffeehouse gatherings where people shared music and poetry and stories, at that time, and since.

flowers in doengal copyright kerry dexterSeptember eleventh is, in my life, also two friends’ wedding anniversary, a child’s birthday, memories of making food for a Mexican American fiesta with friends in Texas, and the day before another friend’s birthday. That reminds that we do celebrate, and learn, and go on from hard experiences, both personal and global. Music and all the arts help us understand, connect, and heal.

Music to go along with these ideas:

one of the songs I turned to on 11 September ten years ago was Amy Grant’s recording of This Is My Father's World. I didn’t go seeking it, it just to came to my hand. It is on her album called, appropriately enough for the circumstance, Legacy: Hymns & Faith

Irish music has a good way of taking in both the sorrow and the joy of life. I found Mary Black’s By the Time It Gets Dark and Out and About from Cherish the Ladies to be music good to listen to back at that time, too and still.

As for music which has come as a response to September eleventh, a song which stands out is I Heard an Owl, by Carrie Newcomer. It is on her album called The Gathering of Spirits and you may listen to a bit of the song I Heard An Owl by following this link

the photograph is of flowers and a stone wall in Country Donegal, Ireland, another way to look at renewal. it is copyrighted, and my thanks to you for respecting that.

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger Anjuli said...

What a great post- a good reminder that life deals us both the sad, bad and yet there are still the moments we celebrate.

I'm listening to Mary Black right now as I respond to this post- and I LOVE it!!

10:15 AM  
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