Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Remembering the Twin Towers

On September 10, 2000 I took a leap of faith and told my boyfriend I loved him.
We were sitting on a bench watching speed boats zoom by on the Hudson River.
He said, “Thank you.” 

On September 11, 2002 as we rode the 1 train uptown to attend the 1 year memorial in Central Park, we discussed marriage. I had always been opposed to the traditional concept of a man proposing and said, “What if we, as a couple, decided to get married?” He replied “ok.”
Several months later we became husband and wife.

We had moved in together about a week before the attacks. He had lived in an area just across the street from the WTC. We spent our courtship in the shadow of those two majestic towers. I would ride the R train from Brooklyn to the Cortland stop. I’d rise from the underground and be greeted by them. I would walk towards them, into them, through them, to reach my love.

We discovered each other as we explored a new part of the city, later named Ground Zero. We fell madly in love and the towers witnessed this, including my declaration of love.

This is how I wish to remember them, a magical time when my heart fully came alive.

My husband and I visited Ground Zero in July during a trip to see family.
Here is the subway station I used to exit. There is Ground Zero in the background.
 Here is a view of the Freedom Tower from near where he used to live.
It was an emotional visit for us.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Remembering September 11th

This is a piece I made in response to the assassination of Osama Bin Laden,
it is called, Not Enough Tears.
 Here is a close up
My husband told me the news right after I woke, my mind could barely process the news. I listened to reports on the radio. I listened as co-workers discussed it at lunch, and I listened as my teenage students made ignorant comments and assumptions about conspiracy theories. I did not discuss it, because I could not. I did not know what to say, how to feel, what to think.

Once I was in the safety of my own home, I watched a video of the president’s announcement. While my mind might not have known what to think, my heart brought tears. I sat and wept. But for what? I was so confused. I tried to process my feelings.

I am fortunate to say that as a New Yorker, I did not lose a loved one, but I know many who have. I was a third year teacher in Brooklyn. I peaked out of my classroom window on that faithful day, and in one moment saw the Twin Towers, and in next they were gone.

While the death of OBL is a victory for America, it reminds me of all we lost, the lives, the innocence, the sense of safety. His single death does not bring me closure, it reignites my heartbreak. As I sat weeping all by myself, I realized, there will never be enough tears to mourn the tragic events of September 11th.

I walked around my house, I needed to do something, to sew, to piece swatches of fabric together. To feel the fabric in my hands, to hear the hum of my sewing machine. I needed to make something. I start with blue fabric, blue for tears. I piece them together, 1 inch squares. I included some orange and yellow at the top to represent hope. We must always have hope. Over the next 6 days I complete the piece. I stitched out the towers in the middle with grey thread. I hand sewed beads to represent tears. I added a black border to represent grief.

Do I feel better? No, I doubt I ever will.

This piece will be part of an exhibit by The Fiber Artists of Hope to honor the ten-year anniversary of September 11th. All pieces will be 9” x 11”.