My guest today is Nancy Lynn Jarvis and she’s going to post about 9/11, for the tenth anniversary of that dreaful day. My heart goes out to all Americans as you commemorate the day and all those who died..
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 is near. It’s hard to say that out loud, somehow. It’s almost like we should speak of 9/11 as “that day” like members of Harry Potter’s wizard- world spoke of Voldemort as “he who must not be named” lest saying his name would give him power and cause him to return. 9/11 changed the way a whole country looked at the world and our place in it and it gave us a new definition of Evil.
I planted two red climbing roses in my garden in 2001 as a tribute to those who perished in the twin towers. I still remember clearly what it felt like to dig the holes for the tall uprights that support them and set the rose roots around them in the days following 9/11 all the while hyper-aware of the eerie silence of a sky where no airplanes flew. The roses grew as I hoped they would, forming their own structure of twin towers covered with bright blooms of remembrance. After Osama bin Laden was tossed into an anonymous watery grave I planted rudbekia, a flower that’s meaning is justice, at the base of the two roses.
When I started writing my first book in 2008, an American cozy-style real estate mystery, I used people I knew for the characters and I stole, well at least borrowed, from their lives to create character back-stories. Kaivan, one of my main characters, was based on a friend of mine whose family had fled Iran after the Shaw fell because they were Christians and Iran under the Ayatollahs was a hostile place for them to live. My friend had a client who dropped off the face of the earth during an escrow. The Death Contingency told my imagined story of what happened to that vanished seller.
My friend is a nice man and a very proud naturalized American. I can remember how filled with pride and joy he was the first time he voted as a new US citizen—I described that day in my book. I wanted his character to be like him, but also to possibly be a murderer. I wanted to explore how such a man might be capable of evil, while not being an evil man.
In the book, the character of Kaivan was profoundly affected by 9/11 like we all were. He knew firsthand what conflict there can be between different faiths when the tenants of religions professing kindness and caring for fellow human beings get twisted by fanatics who gain influence and power. I don’t want to give away too much in case you decide to read the book, but in The Death Contingency, 9/11 was my key to exploring the difference between evil and Evil and to ask if murder is ever justified in the battle against the capital kind.
Thank yo for your post, Nancy. Thank you also for taking the time to remember the victims of that terrible day. I well recall the dreadful events. What particularly struck me was the appalling dilemmma facing the victims and whether they should jump or burn. It was unbelievable watching those who had chosen the first option tumbling through the sky past so many floors. Nancy, the roses and shrub you planted is a beautiful way to remember those poor souls and all the others who died that day, as well as those alive but still suffering.
You can learn more about Nancy, her book, The Death Contingency and her other work on her website: http://www.goodreadmysteries.com.