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Donald, We Can Feel Them Falling

January 15, 2016

If Trump could say what he did about 9/11 (and to applause), why can he not generalize that to compassion—for everyone, everywhere? What happened to him?

“Trump fired back with praise of the city’s handling of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, saying ‘when the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York. . . And the people in New York fought and fought and fought. We saw more death and even the smell of death, nobody understood it and it was with us for months; the smell, the air,” continued Trump. “And we rebuilt downtown Manhattan and everybody in the world watched and everybody in the world loved New York and loved New Yorkers.”

To me the central images from that day are of planes flying out of a clear sky into buildings, fire, and then falling. The buildings fell, millions of pieces of paper floated out and down, thousands of people fell.

Perhaps this particular story is an “urban legend;” but like every true image, it is completely believable because it expresses an immutable truth of “the heart’s imagination.” It happened, to us and within us.

The story is that people on floors above the impacts, finding themselves faced with burning alive, chose instead to jump to their deaths, some holding hands.

Bring us our monkey god! Let him make faces. With his terrible eyebrows. Let us look into his face.

We can only breathe deeper. Hold them in our breathing.

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