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September Memories
9/11/01 Autonomic Pastel

   I lived in New York City in a seventh-floor walk-up and my kitchen window gave an unobstructed view of the construction of The Towers.  The steel rose and I watched it rise.  Part of New York.  My New York.  The city of can-do, the city of excitement, the city of promise.

     I left New York decades later.  I moved to Maine where I created rustic decorations to grace the opulent tables of Windows on the World and I mailed them to my New York.  The city of whimsy.   

     I called a New York friend one September morning and screaming sirens obliterated our conversation.  With millions I watched as The Towers imploded --- the impossibility, the disbelief, the numbness, the horror.  Alone I stood at my Maine desk and furiously slathered colored chalk dust upon paper in a feeble attempt to retain sanity.  New York.  The city of terror, the city of pain, the city of grief.

     Another September.  A clear day in my New York.  Steel again rises and with it the hopes of millions to honor the world’s grief and to embrace anew a glimmer of peace.  New York.  The city of promise.


18 Comment count
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Pain and Love

I was talking about the experience of my first glimpse of the 9/11 horror with my husband; it shook the world to its core. I have never been to New York, but it felt like it happened everywhere. Never has a ruination of such magnitude been so vividly portrayed and seared in our minds as that one has. I do remember being absolutely riveted by the continual reporting of news, especially the fact that people in the towers were calling their families and expressing love. It was so moving and significant, so incredibly poignant.

Your response to it was unique and very personal. Thank you so much for sharing this expression of sadness and promise with us.


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New York is universal in its

New York is universal in its population, in its scope, in its importance, and we are all New Yorkers, anyone touched by the theater, by the museums, by the fashionistas, by the publishing industry, by the people, by the guts and the glory.  You can tell how I passionately love the city.

Thanks, Christine.    

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A City that Mourns

I'm afraid you are totally right about the effect of 9/11 on New York. That day will always put us in a state of mourning. We cannot escape its effect. Your art is what I feel and I thank you for demonstrating what all New Yorkers wish we could explain the way you do.

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I could write forever on

I could write forever on this , Linda, and never say enough.  I visited in October and it wasn’t my New York, but a shadow.  I have never been to the site itself.  I have no reason to do so. 

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Living color

I am so grateful that there are artists like you who can express visually, with great emotion, what so many of us cannot articulate.

My heart is heavy today...

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They say a grief shared is

They say a grief shared is half a grief, but when there is so much grief, how much can a sensitive person share?  In my story of the Ginkgo, she and the other trees take into themselves the poisonous gasses, but it is too overwhelming, and even the trees are saddened.

  Your heavy heart mirrors your sympathetic soul, my friend. 

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Mara, white plumes of cloud

Mara, white plumes of cloud rise into the sky this day and black birds ready themselves to fly south and you must always write and paint - always. mx

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Mary, dear friend, sometimes

Mary, dear friend, sometimes I feel you and I share secret signals, reading between the lines of black on white, into the cloud plumes and the birds.  Thank you for understanding.  Mx

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Thank you for sharing.

The portrait is touching and quite beautiful despite the horror it portrays. Perhaps the beauty comes from all the love expressed that day that Christine mentions. New Yorkers outdid themselves that day and in the after days in their reponse to the tragedy.

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I visited the city a month

I visited the city a month later and in the evening beacons of light etched the sky in the shape of the towers that were no longer.  People stood on the sidewalk and openly sobbed and grabbed at strangers.  The soul of the city was visible.

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The soul of mankind shook

The soul of mankind shook with horror, as did your chalk upon the canvas, Mara, at the appalling outcome of hatred and ignorance as innocent people leapt from The Towers, while others cheered, “Down with the devil.” But the spirit of the people of New York, as well as people all over the world, was not shaken, nor will we be defeated. The intent of the terrorists was even more grievous; we must never forget that New York was and is not the only target.

Your paintings are beauty and peace in the face of darkness. Have you a painting of the Ginkgo tree? I believe that was the 1st story I read on your blog - I'm always been drawn to the Gingko,and from that story grew a friendship I value.

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Heartfelt comment, Lynn. 

Heartfelt comment, Lynn.  You are absolutely right --- the interconnection extended throughout the world.  And I would like to believe that same spirit has strengthened in the ensuing years. 

Ah, The Ginkgo!  She tried so hard to be helpful during those dark days.  She is currently under consideration for publication, and there are possibilities for her to become a tiny animated film, thus many paintings starring her and her tree neighbors may be in her future. 

Thanks, Lynn, for all your good thoughts.  ~Mara   

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Well Said, Lynn

The story that Mara's pastels depict are exactly as I remember from that day. First, there are the buildings still erect with flames shooting from within, the crumbling of the infrastructure and the continuous fire, but with the addition of bodies floating beside the destruction.

The billowing smoke and ash that accompanied those still alive, who ran from the scene as they hoped to reach a distance far from ground zero, and last but not least, the smoldering ash scattered among bodies, mortar and lost love.

I will never get over 9/11, but Mara's work is the best embodiment of the experience that I have ever scene.

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A New Yorker’s grief is a

A New Yorker’s grief is a passionate grief and I can only sympathize the extent your generous heart was broken, Linda. 

My chalk-covered hands in Maine were guided across the paper by the souls in New York, autonomic movement powered by forces beyond me. 

 I am truly honored that you consider my work to be worthy of such emotions.

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Your face depicts hope, openness, and honesty

Linda, your photo is great - by looking up and straight into the camera, your face depicts hope, openness, and honesty. We need more of that in the world. Thanks for your comment.

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You read Linda well, Lynn. 

You read Linda well, Lynn.  She and her writing are both brave and honest. 

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The times I was there

God, how many times I exited the PATH train into the twin towers...to know that they weren't there anymore...the long elevators from the bottom level (reminded me of the Tube in London). Not that I know what your babies dream of, but I feel the crying, sighing, and remorse of a generations of lovers who lost their passions that day...September 11, 2010.

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When I was a New Yorker, I

When I was a New Yorker, I also knew well the train system under the towers, an intricate clockwork of the busyness of myriad separate humans, each with a personality, each with a story, many now ceased. 

There have been and will be again innumerable disasters throughout the world, some more massive than this.  We who remain can only remember and honor. 

 Thank you so much, Carin, for your comments.