One Year Later
The art opening yesterday was great. There were 2 floors of art. The
first floor displayed the memory jars and the second displayed the unity
canvas. There simply wasn't enough room in the 2nd floor gallery to
contain all the art so it had to be split. There was a wide range of
interesting pieces...some made by children, others by artists and
non-artists. My piece attracted a lot of attention and really moved
people emotionally. I am thrilled and touched by the responses. By the
reactions I saw yesterday, I believe that I was successful in expressing
my feelings through my work. Creating that piece was very cathartic as
it took four days to complete. A tower shaped glass jar lined with human
figures to form what appears to be the skin of the WTC.
I had to be set individually into the glaze with tweezers...2,815 times
and that gave me a LOT oftime to reflect and think about each individual.
It has given me asense of closure. Engraved on the jar, "Peace can not be
kept by force, it can only be achieved through understanding" - Albert Einstein
Photo by Mathew Zucker
The chanel 7 news crew showed up, but I don't know the details about the footage
from the exhibit. The curator of theproject who was here from LA asked me if I
would like to be more involved with this exhibit beyond it's New York borders.
I think Iwould. She then told me I should publish my journal and I told her that
I am indeed working on that.
t's Sunday morning and the news caravan is parked outside my flat
again...huge satellite dishes in tow. It reminds me of the media-circus
I returned home to last year. It's odd how we make associations with
objects based on experience. For instance, I am terrified by planes
now, though I am much better at hiding my fear..and seeing all those
news vans outside my building makes me queasy. Every so often we can
still smell the "ground zero" odor and that easily sets me on edge. I
used to love fireworks, but now I can't handle loud noises. I spoke to
my neighbor about this and she said she has the same problem. She told
me about some nifty ear plugs. It's due to the trauma we went through
apparently. My building only has approximately 20% it's original
tenants. There are only 2 neighbors left on my floor that I know. A
lot of people moved when their leases were up. The wealthier tenants
just bought out their leases and relocated. The tenants in the
"corporate units" just never returned. NYU Medical Center is doing a
breathing study on the residents. My sensei has developed asthma. I
have been diagnosed with Reactive Airway Dysfunction. We residents still
have some "issues". I had a couple of PTSD related incidents recently
because of all the "anniversary" talk. The homeopath where I work
treated me and now I'm fine. I have a lot of support from some friends
who are physicians and psychiatrists so I consider myself quite
fortunate. What makes things difficult is exposure to the media - so I
avoid it. What makes things better is doing things that I enjoy -
Robert takes me to concerts, and films, and exhibits etc. He makes me
laugh a lot and THAT is very good thing.
I am looking forward to life after the "anniversary"as it's a very
difficult right now. Yesterday morning the bagpipes were playing for
hours outside my window and it made me cry. Last week there was a
fighter jet fly-by while I was at work. Robert said it was so loud it
was actually painful and people were terrified. He said he was glad
that I was already at work when it happened because it scared the heck
out of everyone. There is going to be fireworks on Wednesday
night...one for each victim killed in the attacks. I'm going to
purchase those ear plugs my neighbor told me about. Robert said he is
renting a car tomorrow and taking me to a nice quiet beach on Wednesday
so I will not bombarded with footage and ceremonies and loud noises.
I have learned a lot in the past year. I been through one of the most horrible
ordeals one can imagine and have seen things that no one should have to
see. I have witnessed terror, death, anger and hatred...BUT I have also
experienced great love and compassion.
I choose to end this chapter here at the "anniversary" mark. I close
it with an exhibition in The World Peace Project...and I close it with
joyful news: I have met the most wonderful man on the face of this
planet and we will begin making our home together in November.
My family, Ray Cook, Parks Commissioner Jack Lynn, Tarra,
Jose and the Related Staff, my friends: Mat Zucker, the Senzamicis, the Pirros, Ryn, WEL,
SJQ and the Center For Health & Healing, my neighbors, the wonderful
women at WISE, Bill and Cleone at Microform (for donating
all the tiny people to create my memory jar) and Robert K. Cox (for
finding me and making me swoon)
"Whenever you share the opinion of the majority, it's time to rethink."
- Mark Twain