Saturday, July 01, 2006


In the late summer of 2001 I was working on a number of large wall size 'constructions' for want of a better word, following up a successful group show at a well known gallery in chelsea. I had been encouraged by the sale of a piece to a good collector and additional good feedback by curators. I had taken it even further and filled the walls with crazy variations on a theme, the works were joyous and unrestricted as if I had been given a license to go wild and the flow of creativity was what every artist wishes for, like nirvana on earth - there is no drug, no program, no lover that can compare with the power of inspiration at a time like this. Its as If something is working through you, using you, you are a vehicle through which a force (unknown) is expressing itself or yourself and the result is otherworldly, you don't know where it comes from, but you are grateful it's there because you know it won't stay long.
I remember my favorite televison show at the time was on cable access 'Lamp unto a Mystic' with Neferlyn Gray. Miss Gray was an authority on the Tarot cards and the Kabbala tradition, she would show pictures of the tree of life and she had a fantastic speaking voice.
In early September I went to a free performance of the Twyla Tharp Dance Co. in the plaza at the foot of the World Trade Center. As I sat there I remember looking up at the twin towers and thinking how majestic they were, I had often gone there to sit by the fountain of the world but I never really apprec. the buildings except from that vantage point that night.
A few days later it was a fine clear morning with no clouds. I went out at about 8am to go to the coffee cart on the corner of Gold and Spruce streets to get breakfast, while on line there was suddenly a thunderous explosion like sound, I thought 'what now' (there was always noise there) soon the sky was filled with floating paper, clouds of office paper drifting east toward Brooklyn. The Black lady behind me said 'Oh, look at the paper' Thinking something other than the usual controlled chaos was happening I walked a few blocks west and people where staring up at the trade towers. There was a huge black hole in the side of the north tower with smoke billowing out, the hole had to be between 6 and 8 stories wide. I said 'there are hundreds of people up there' and a man said 'thousands' someone said 'a plane hit the world trade tower'. I walked back to my building, thinking I will turn on the television to get more information. When I reached the front of 90 Gold I heard a gigantic explosion and turned my head, I saw a huge fireball in the sky coming from the south tower of the world trade center.
After going up to the apt. and turning on the tv, not much info was being broadcast except scenes of pandemonium, after a time I heard yet another explosion and the earth shook, before long a dense yellow - tan cloud appeared outside and stayed there, a thick layer of dust had blown onto the terrace of the apt. and into the open window. Before long the phone rang and it was my landlord (he worked in the area and lived in NJ) he needed to come up, He was covered with this thick dust, He took a shower and together we watched the tv, I said to him 'we have lived through history'. At 3pm he decided to leave and try to get home to NJ. I went out to sweep the terrace and while doing this my throat started to burn, the phone rang again but when I picked it up I could'nt speak, I started to gag and clear it. At 6pm the electric, phone, and water went off. The next morning Wed. I went to NJ too, to my mothers place and watched more tv, I was out of sorts and went back to 90 Gold the next day having decided to help somehow.
I put on my work clothes and a hardhat and gloves and walked over to the WTC. It was surreal, I walked right in - it was a gigantic mountain of twisted rubble - covered with smoke and fire, I could not believe what I was seeing. There were police and fireman and people working everywhere, someone put a bucket in my hand and I joined a chain of fireman carrying debris off this mountain, it was like a huge archeological excavation. When a body part was found, it was ceremoniously treated. The red cross had set up food stations with hot food for everyone, there were tables piled high with little bags packed by school children with food and the children wrote 'thank you' on the bags. This was the first week after the attacks - they were only able to work on the outer edge of the pile, the greater part of the site was still on fire and would burn for the following two months. Each night I would walk back to my apt. four blocks away and return the next morning. At the end of the week though the National Guard got there and enclosed the area - I was told I was not authorized to be there - and was turned away, so I went back to the apt.

to be continued


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