“September 26, 2001, we were allowed to go home. We had fled reluctantly, with only the cats, late on the afternoon of the 11th. The Towers were down; a third building was lighting up with fire two blocks to the south. The intervening two weeks had been an agonizing ordeal; first trying to ascertain whether we still had a home at all, then begging for access to retrieve the prescriptions, checkbooks, and watercolors abandoned in our flight. We wondered at how fortunate we were to have survived so relatively unscathed.
For almost a month, we were in the Red Zone, fenced in with the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center complex, and although I was never in what is called Ground Zero, its harrowing and hallowed influence was all around.
As what I now see was an instinctive coping device, I drew. To me the buildings were still there, horribly changed, true, but as intrinsically a part of my daily life as they had been intact. I clung to the ruins because they seemed more familiar than the new and disorienting vistas and light patterns opening up all around the neighborhood I had lived in for twenty-seven years.
When the last vestiges of the North Tower were dismantled, my need to draw the site ended.
What had begun as a chronicle of destruction became, at last, an odyssey toward acceptance.”
A snippet from a short piece with Morry Alter on CBS News New York.
See the whole clip on Youtube
Digital book created and published by John Maas for Jean Holabird
While this page is meant to direct traffic to the Apple Books store,
you can still find used hard and soft cover versions where used books are sold.