Mary E. Adair
The month that follows September...a September this year, that the world will never forget.
When we closed the September column, ghost stories were requested for October, but the frightening incident on the eleventh of September, 2001, causes most other news to pale in comparison. However, it is healing to spend adequate time discussing and sharing accounts of the tragedy, so we continue to carry the commentary page our co-founder and webmaster Mike Craner provided. The home page of Pencil Stubs Online displays the clickable section "Attack on America" that opens with his essay written while all the news was not yet in, and emotions were flying everywhere. Others have added their comments, and all are still invited to do so. But, the next step in healing is resuming normal and usual living, so the task of preparing the ezine has been strengthening for me.
The 'ghost' stories received, include one by Cayce B. Shelton, who chilled us with "Sister" in the last issue, and continues that trend with "The Cemetery." Another story by Shelton has some ghostly dealings, not defined as such, that take place at "The 18th Hole." The other story, relating two separate occasions where the resident ghost revealed herself in one way or another, is from a former co-worker, Rosa Vianes, who is known for her veracity. There have been other times when the ghost has appeared in "person" or actions to members of the family and the neighborhood. So, enjoy "My Mother's Ghost Friend in Odessa" which first appeared in the September 1994 issue of FREE TIME, parent publication of HOBBIE$, ETC., both AMEA Publications magazines. But perhaps the scariest story of all is the one that Mary Taylor submitted in July of this year, "Winds of War." It was prepared as a tribute to one of her relatives and presented at a family reunion. Here is another example of the universal knowledge slipping in its forebodings, in this editor's opinion.
We have four articles this month. "Old Glory" by our columnist LC Van Savage, and "Unfathomed Hatred" by Todd C. Anderson aka Blinder. "The Sacred - Part I" (written September 3 and underwent a final revision September 6 before it was emailed to your editor) by one of our columnists (Robert R. Beaty, aka pbobby) who has been on sabatical awhile. He explained that he felt compelled to bring forth the subject of what is sacred in our lives, and asked people to study and search their hearts for the answer. He now believes that the universal consciousness was trying to warn or prepare for the September 11 attacks. His second part, written after the tragedies in New York, Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania, deals with the aftermath, and how we can survive the intense sorrow welling up in us. We are featuring both parts as separate articles rather than placing them in his column.
Almost simultaneously to receiving Beaty's first part, Darren Bardsley's column ("Ever Increasing Circles") arrived, filled with the attempt to search one's heart, mind, and soul, and ending with an exact phrase also found in pbobby's comments, concerning the sacredness of all life. As this is not the only incident of such "universal knowledge" your editor is privy to, belief is growing that spiritual preparation is on our current agenda...for living, not only for dying.
LC Van Savage uses her column "Consider This" to share her knowlege of WTC, the now demolished World Trade Center, and what part it has previously played in her family, and the consequences of the terrorist activity. Connie Anast ("On The Other Hand") and Cassandra ("Cassandra's World") also touch on the aftermath and thoughts of the attacks in their columns. "Taming The Beast" column by Dr. Sam Vaknin delves into the psychiatric reasoning of suicides, from a psychologist's viewpoint. Webmaster Michael Craner promises his current take on the terrorist activities in America, in "Mike's Place."
Our humorist, Gerard Meister brings us some "change the subject of our thoughts" comments. Leo C. Helmer, gets us into the celebrating mood for us and our children with his "Cookin' With Leo" recipe to try for the kiddoes and adults as well, instead of the fuss of preparing caramel apples.
Perhaps some of the universal knowledge vibes were affecting our poets. In the first place, we only have five poems to share this month. In the second, they will probably address thoughts many of us have had since September 11, 2001. "Dark Moon Tidings" by LSeeker is a somber tone poem, Keith Vander Wees submitted two poems of pondering the future, "If" and "The Hope" while "Ode to a Friend" by Joan DeMott individualizes the plight of many out of work friends at this time. But the poem by Sapphire Rose, "Who's Gonna Love Us, Momma?" brings to mind, the loss of so many parents slain in or by the hijacked planes or during rescue attempts.
We are looking forward to the birthday of a beloved son this month, as well as birthdays of several grandchildren. It is our hope that though we reverently respect the losses suffered by so many, that we will not let the cowardice shown by the terrorists keep us from cherishing our loved ones and planning for the future. Indeed, let us focus our efforts to show our families and friends how much we love them. Let us remember that those orphaned look to us for their very lives. If we breathe, we should have breath to utter words that will reassure, comfort and cheer them...especially the youngsters. Let us act in concert for freedom and loving care for them. Let us strive together that such terrorist activity doesn't touch them, nor us, again. Let us be supportive of our government and allies that protect us. May God bless us.
See you in November!!