Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Reminder

I just arrived at the Club Quarters Hotel overlooking Ground Zero in New York City. In about 12 hours, my husband, Dennis, and I will join 43 other bike riders for a 270-mile journey back to Boston to support Beyond the 11th, an organization borne out of the tragedy of 9/11 and focused on healing the wounds from that day.

Towering near the hotel is One WTC -- a structure that continues to climb 84 floors. Below, construction vehicles buzz around the haunting crater where the World Trade Center towers once stood. I can hear the jackhammers and loader engines in my room as I catch up on emails: forms for fiscal sponsorship need filling out; a meeting for our Executive Producer at the Toronto Film Festival needs confirming; licensing fees need to be worked out with Brazil's largest TV network. Everything needed. Needed now. Distracting me from connecting with this moment, and the reasons I have chosen to be here.

And then I open an email - one of the most beautiful I've ever received - from Bonnie Pedota of Ontario who has just watched our film BEYOND BELIEF. This is it in its entirety:

I am a mother and wife (most importantly, but among other things) living in Brooklin, Ontario, Canada, just outside of Toronto. I borrowed Beyond Belief from my public library.

Just wanted to share how blown away I was by this film.

I was crying so many times watching the moving stories about Susan, Patti, and all of the women of Afghanistan that were featured. What brave and strong women, to create something so beautiful out of their deep mourning at losing their husbands. What brave and strong women are these widows of Afghanistan, to keep moving forward, despite so many cards against them.

What struck me most was the prosperity of our North American lives, and the relative poverty of their Afghan lives at so many levels, especially regarding human rights. I had the same “aha” moment as Susan when she was crying in embarrassment at her relative wealth after one of the women suggested she send photos of her home in Boston to Afghanistan.

As a mother, this film make my heart bleed for the Afghan mothers who can often not supply the basic necessities of life to their children, sometimes even losing them to starvation.

When I became I mother just five years ago, I feel as though I became a mother to all the world’s children. As a mother now, I so deeply feel the pain of mothers who cannot feed their children. Your film left me asking myself what more I can do.

Congratulations on an outstanding project and film.

Bonnie Pedota

Thank you, Bonnie, for reminding me how much what is happening outside my window right now is connected to the rest of our world.

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