Friday, September 11, 2009

Memory - Tree of Life - WTC

I am still looking for the title and artist’s name of some lost artwork at the World Trade Center.

The eighth anniversary of 911 is upon us and I want to let go of some memories. A lingering thought of some lost artwork that touched the artist in my soul years ago lives on in my memory. As I have written here and elsewhere I did not directly lose a loved one on September 11, 2001.

Like a lot of us shell shocked New Yorkers from 911, whether we knew someone who died or not, there are memories that take a little longer than others to resurface to the forefront of our attention.

Before I try to put my pen down on this subject of 911, let me share something of the human spirit and expressed in art and lost on that fateful day eight years ago.

I remember walking up West Broadway from Vesey Street behind the Post Office there before 911. I walked there back in the eighties to swing past some large decorative artwork that adorned the east, street level, facade of the former 7 World Trade Center. This red granite facade or bas-relief was a cover for a downward driveway into the building from the rear on Barclay Street. (See above.)

For the longest time I would use the Internet and try to find an accurate listing of all lost artwork in connection with the destruction of the World Trade Center by terrorists. There are not many lists and they all seemed to be connected with some other tangent besides the WTC such as corporate ownership, or individual placement within the complex and so on.

I kept looking for the listing and name of the artwork noted above at 7 WTC. I could not remember if the decoration had a name and an artist.

What I had done was give the artwork a name in my head. Since it looked like a abstract Tree of Life, I gave it an exotic name that the tree of life is called by some primitive and possibly extinct tribe in Borneo – they called their Tree of Life by the name of “Aping”.

So into my brain went the reference to a dead work of art called “Aping”.

A tree of life, the WTC, a major artery of life in lower Manhattan got taken out, roots and all, that day eight years ago.

I find it ironic that there is not an easily accessed list of lost artwork at the old WTC. Whereas I am certain there are statistics down to the last square and cubic inch of the present real estate development thing going on now at the site of the old World Trade Center.

Art touches the soul of mankind. I hope some suitable artwork that touches upon the interdependence of all nations in this new global economy and global culture will be represented amid the profit plums and skyscrapers going up at the new WTC - to replace lost works of art from that infamous day.

- Hopefully this universal themed artwork, like the theme of the Tree of Life, will be near the planned memorial to the dead of 911.

The Tree of Life is at the base of legends and mythologies all over our planetary histories, cultures and geographies. The Tree of Life myth symbolizes fertility, growth, endurance and immortality.

The old WTC lives in my memory. Memory is the most important place for any living memorial to the dead and lost on that day eight years ago.

For more of my memories on 911 - Ghosts-of-911

“Joe” Wilson’s War on Illegals w/o Health Care – WWJD?

What struck me about John McCain in 2008 as standard bearer of the GOP was that he has never held a private sector job. Little wonder he panicked when Wall Street’s Ponzi tanked. Nothing wrong with a lifetime of government or military service. But what does one learn or know about of the other people, the people in the real world and about conditional employment and optional health care in the capitalist economy?

U.S. Representative Addison “Joe” Wilson of South Carolina as retired military did a great act of disrespect and insubordination with his outburst during President Obama’s speech during a Joint Session of Congress the other night.

In our republic, when you have the Chief Executive, the Supreme Court, members of the Cabinet and members of both Houses of Congress present – you have the whole of Government – the sacred - of the secular – and in this very solemn moment of Democracy, Colonel Wilson of the South Carolina National Guard has a GOP hissy fit.

His “You Lie!” outburst was about his concern that no illegal immigrants could get government paid health care under proposed health care reform legislation.

I know that Rep. Wilson’s sons are on the military dole with free healthcare like the retired colonel.

Joe Wilson's Dirty Health-Care Secret
Except that he's not─at least not when it comes to his, and his family's, government-run health care. As a retired Army National Guard colonel, Wilson gets a lot of benefits (one of which, apparently, was not a full appreciation of the customs, traditions, and courtesies that mandate respect for one's commander in chief). And with four sons in the armed services, the entire Wilson brood has enjoyed multiple generations of free military medical coverage, known as TRICARE.
What I don’t get is a man obsessed with illegal aliens getting any health care.

If a Mexican is in a car accident and arrives at the Hospital ER room – what should the admitting doctors do when they a) find out he has no health care coverage and or b) that he has no birth certificate proving U.S. citizenship – should they dump the bleeding mangled Mexican on the sidewalk and walk away. Such a vision does not seem to occur within or bother the military mind of Rep. Addison “Joe” Wilson Sr.. (Just some more collateral damage perhaps? Hire a no bid contractor to clean IT up?)

Let’s just hope that the world stays unsafe and Rep. Wilson’s four sons in the military have lifetime employment, pension entitlement and free healthcare while the rest of the other people in the economy continue to struggle for their daily bread.

WWJD? Have the Wilson boys get real jobs or stop fake wars overseas?

I don’t have any answers to this dilemma.

I ask you all to examine your own hearts in these trying days of bitter partisanship and the lack of civility and respect in public life and service – in this so-called Christian nation.