Yes. September 11. It’s the day after the 10th anniversary. Thank God! Of course I remember that day. I had just finished making travel arrangements for my four year old son and myself when the airline ticketing agent said, “That’s strange. I was just told that a plane crashed into one of the towers at the World Trade Center.” We ended the call and I turned on the television to see the smoking tower and within moments watched in horror as the second plane flew into the side of the other one. There was absolutely no question in my mind. I knew we were under attack. I knew we were at war. I didn’t know with who at that moment but I knew it was war. I remember running outside and down to the river…I was staying in Hoboken at a friend’s apartment…I’d just completed casting…Signs….with Doug Aibel…and was in the midst of directing one of my closest friends…Jacob Battat…in a production of…Orphans. Now come on! Signs and Orphans? From the banks of the river I watched the towers collapse. And people, unless it’s for the purpose of production, I don’t cry. Not publicly. But when I saw the first tower fall…I wept. Easily imagining all the people inside that building. And then I hoped beyond hope that as many people as possible would escape the second building before the inevitable.
I am a great lover of people. I think human beings are the work of a creative genius. I love each and every one. Of course there are some human beings who make it more challenging for me to love them…but love them I do. The idea of people suffering causes me great suffering. I think it’s one of the reasons acting has always been a kind of balm for me. Acting for me is a very healing experience. It brings me closer to others. To the myriad of others I share this extraordinary world with.
That’s why yesterday I chose to spend the day working. Because for me…save for the time I spend with my children (who were VERY close by)…acting affords me the opportunity to spend my time consciously choosing to explore and connect with every aspect of humanity. The much larger picture. The great HUGE world we live in. Reminds me that it is in fact…a small world after all.
Nobody anywhere in the world deserves to experience what was experienced on September 11, 2001. Absolutely no one anywhere in the world. And yet things like that happen almost everyday somewhere in the world. Why? I haven’t a clue. But I do know this. We…each and every one of us…need to spend at least a little time thinking of others. Imagining what it must be like. If we can’t walk in their moccasins at least we can imagine what it must be like to walk in them…and by doing so…understand more and judge less. Condemn less. Love more and thus hate less. And find within ourselves what I believe God in His infinite wisdom created in us. Compassion.