“No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” –Virgil
“Humanity resides in our compassion and kindness for one another. The choices we make affect each other’s lives and the course of human history.” –Mike Bloomberg at the dedication of the new 9/11 Memorial Museum yesterday.
I’m sympathetic to the fires in Fritch, Texas because I can relate. I can relate to the feeling of your heart being ripped out at seeing your town that you’re used to seeing everyday ravaged and gutted. In New York, it was human evil rather than Mother Nature, but either way, the past is lost. There are things in those fires and there were things in the World Trade Center that are irreplaceable. Survivor’s guilt (my father lost clients he had as a freelancer in the WTC, among other people– members of our local firefighter precinct) has kept me out of my City and I end up in Amarillo because of friends, ties, things that have grown familiar since I fled (or tried to flee) that nipping, underlying sadness that comes with living in New York after 9/11. Longtime New Yorkers carry a heartbreak in them. It’s something that’s not discussed or that you hear about in the media. But to mention 9/11 to a New Yorker, you’ll see them look at the floor and avert their eyes as a flood of memories passes through their minds. Wherever you go, emotions follow you. The one saving grace for me has been seeing other peoples’ compassion. That makes it all easier.
A new museum has been opened in New York to serve as a memorial to the WTC. In New York, we love to memorialize things. I hope that the people of Fritch, when they’re able to, make a memorial and honor themselves, and their past. Or anyone who suffers a loss anywhere. They can wipe away your stuff, your home, but they can’t take you, or attitude, that last of the human freedoms.
Painting I did in 2012