Doane Perry’s Diary – September 2001

I am in my hotel room in Stockholm, feeling a very long way from home.  Sometimes the road can be a lonely place even when you’re traveling amongst friends and colleagues, but it feels particularly lonely right now.  The sad, tragic events in America two weeks ago heighten the degree of homesickness that I am feeling. After growing up and living in New York City for 35 years it is heartening to see, amidst such devastating tragedy, the genuine empathetic concern and support that Americans and people the world over, with a few notable exceptions, have shown towards their fellow men and women. But watching the news still continues to be just overwhelmingly heartbreaking and fills me with an inexpressible sorrow. Knowing some of the people who perished high up in the South Tower, I find it still grips me with horror as I try to imagine what must have been going through their minds and the thousands of other poor souls in those final moments. I still seem to have very little control of when these thoughts will randomly grab and shake me down. The paralysis and powerlessness that many of us feel through our inability to change such an inexorable event is tempered, I suppose, by the knowledge, that to ultimately give in to those feelings would mean that we really have lost to those evil bastards. Most people are far too hurt and angry to allow those emotions to gain a permanent foothold, although the process of grieving and rebuilding is going to be a long, slow, painful one.

I’m one of the lucky ones who love my job and it’s a small comfort to think that maybe what we do helps some people get through their day. I know it helps me get through my day even when the traveling gets me down. At it’s best, music can be a powerful antidote to chaos, confusion and grief and I would like to think that there is a measure of healing and peace that it will bring, to me and to others.

We still enjoy freedom here in the West and are likely to continue so despite these horrific attacks. I’m just wondering how Bin Laden is enjoying life in his cave right now? I trust our tour will continue to go uneventfully and that we can bring some light to people.

Peace to All,

D.P.