There is a place in Uzbekistan called "The Door to Hell." I may be feeling a wee bit dark lately but I swear I did not make this up. So if you are searching for just such a doorway, look no further than the small town of Darvaz. You need not know the Devil to enter.
The images are stunning and the story is this: 35 years ago geologists were drilling for gas when suddenly the earth opened up to reveal a huge underground cavern. The equipment and camps fell deep inside, but no one dared go in because the cave swam with poisonous gas. So rather than let the gas escape they set fire to it. And now, 35 years later, the earth is still burning. It took me until late morning to realize that today is September 11th. Never forget, people say, but life goes on and today is Thursday. Tonight I have dinner plans with my husband's sailing team. I drove to work thinking about Isis from America's Next Top Model. I ate a croissant. And yet seven years ago the world stood still and we all thought it would never be the same. I mean no disrespect to those that died as a result of the terrorist attacks. I have only the highest regard for those that worked to save lives. If I really think about it I can remember that deep chasm of hopelessness I felt in those days right after, the creaking ache in my chest when I saw an American flag, when I smelled smoke. How one night driving home I pulled over just before I got on the Golden Gate Bridge because I did not like the looks of the truck in front of me. The world is not the same really, but it's also not all that different. Now when I cross the bridge I curse the fact that they just raised the toll to $6. My heart creaks for my daughter and when I see an American flag sadly I snort. Because I think our current administration is a joke. I don't know what those geologists should have done when the earth caved in. Because really, which is better? Letting the poisonous gas slowly escape sight unseen, or setting it on fire to burn for all of eternity, an ulcerated wound on the world?