sorry, cairsten :) i didn't mean to lift a line from you and then walk away. i guess i did sort of like the way it rolled off my tongue, and my awareness. i have been seeing the world in a much more relativistic and abstract way recently. this line brings to mind the old cliche about whether the glass is half empty or half full. when you lose someone, for example, the wholeness of you is not less, that one place in your consciousness is just different. where the twin towers once resided in my memory will never be the same, but from the experience i have gained insight, perspective, a greater appreciation for humanity, and a healthy respect for my own mortality. there is also a hollow feeling that will not go away, and dread of what the future holds, but in the balance, i have more after sept 11th than i had before. the illusion for me is the focusing on the loss, which is real, instead of what has replaced the thing we have lost. immediately following a loss, there is a time when that loss eclipses everything else. i don't necessarily think that is a bad thing. but eventually, what we still have and what we have gained becomes clearer and we achieve balance, or closure.