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Speaking truth heals

by Carolyn K. Long

Columbia, MD_September 9, 2009__ September 11, 2001, is a raw pain for some; a fading memory for others; a living scar on our nation’s collective memory. Medical science can do little more to heal the pain of that day, but healing is still needed. It is the arts that trump science now. “The 9/11 Memorial poem and video, ‘Angels Over America’ by Carolyn K. Long, reminds us to celebrate our strengths and cherish life. There is healing power in those thoughts,” says speaker and Well-Being Coach Lynn Durham, RN.

The 8-minute video “Angels Over America,” incorporating video, images, music and poetry, is both a stirring tribute to 9/11 victims and heroes, and an artistic work whose unique metaphor offers healing perspectives on this pivotal moment in our nation’s history. (

Because science is so well established as the primary knowledge, “we have lost the historical thread of the arts as healers for every man. In our attempts to become more and more civilized, we have stretched beyond the sacred limits of intellect and are only recently starting the journey back to center,” says Carolyn Kenny, Sr. Research Scholar, Institute for Social, Behavioral and Economic Research, UC Santa Barbara.

Poetry is one of the best ways to reclaim that knowledge. “Poetry is simply speaking truth. One of the best kept secrets in this technically oriented culture is that simply speaking truth heals,” says author Rachel Naomi Remen, MD. “A lot of healing lies in the recovery of a personal sense of meaning, that capacity which enables us to endure difficulties, to find and draw on unsuspected strength. In times of crisis, meaning IS strength. But the deepest meaning is carried in the unconscious mind, whose language is the language of dreams, of symbols & archetypes. Poetry speaks this language, and helps us hear meaning in illness, in the events of our lives often for the first time. Finding such meaning feels like revelation. Like Grace.”

“Poetry is a natural medicine,” concurs John Fox, author of Poetic Medicine. “Poetic essences of sound, metaphor, image, feeling and rhythm act as remedies that can elegantly strengthen our whole system—physical, mental and spiritual,”

“If ever an event called for healing on every level, it was 9/11,” says writer and poet Carolyn Long. “The events of September 11, 2001, will be a part of the American consciousness forever. The lens through which we view them will shape our future, and determine how we heal as a people.”

Award-winning New York arranger and composer Mark Freeh co-produced the video from Carolyn Long’s poem, “Angels Over America,” against the backdrop of powerful 9/11 images and his stirring arrangement of “America the Beautiful” and moving renditions of “Amazing Grace” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”

The “Angels Over America,” poem and video can be viewed or downloaded from the website A YouTube version is also linked to the site. A copy of the video on DVD and a laminated poster of the poem, “Angels Over America,” are available from the website or by email from

Carolyn K. Long , author of “Angels Over America” and co-producer of the 9/11 memorial video of that name, is a professional speaker, consultant, writer and photographer, based in Columbia, MD.

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The events of 911 will be a part of the American consciousness forever.

How they are held there will shape our future.

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