Sunday, September 11, 2011

A sad and beautiful day

 Portrait of my father (revisited)
black marker on bond paper
7 x 9 inches
Barbara Muir © 2010
My father died on September 11, years before
the Twin Towers fell. So the day was filled with
sober memories for me before that horror.
Every year I talk to my mother about our father,
how dignified and caring he was as he died, how
valiant.  He died of lung cancer, following years
of emphysema, he no doubt picked up as a seaman
in the navy, exposed to excessive radiation
through early radar, or from the few years he smoked
serious cigarettes.

On 9/11, 2001 I was driving to school on a beautiful
day thinking about my father, and planning to call
my mother when I got home.  I was listening to
my own music -- it was the first day of a new term,
and I felt happy and optimistic about the work
ahead.  I switched on the car radio to get the time,
and the first plane hit.  After that like most people
I know I remember days of TV and crying.  Calling
friends who had people in New York, checking.
Hearing stories of people lost in my own small
circle, and all of this under quiet skies, because
the planes were down.

10 years on, the results of this tragedy still ricochet
around the world.  Any of us alive at the time will
never forget. And most of us will never fully process
it.  For all of those who lost their lives, for all of
those who lost loved ones, for everyone feeling grief
because of war and destruction and loss of loved
ones across the planet, I send out love, peace, and

We watched a documentary last night on the Pugwash
Peace conferences begun Pugwash, Nova Scotia
near where we have our summer place.  That conference
is attended by scientists and politicians around the
world, trying to put an end to nuclear weapons, and
to war.  They've accomplished a lot, and I wish them
the best in their continued work.

Have a dreaming-of-peace-in-our-lifetime day.


Melinda said...

A beautiful portrait and poignant words. Just watching a few minutes footage of this tragedy this weekend caused my stomach to lurch. Couldn't continue. It will be a better day when all nuclear weapons are a distant memory.

I'm sorry for your loss. I'll join my dream with yours for peace in our lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Hi Barbara,
That is one beautiful little portrait of your father. Very expressive with such wonderful flowing lines. impressive.
moving post about Sep 11. my own experience of watching that carnage unfolded as i watched the 11 o'clock evening news in Australia. Of course i never slept all night, stayed up in horror, and was numb the next day.
Hooray for the Pugwash peace initiative!

Nicki said...

Beautiful post, Barbara. You have such a lovely way with words.

XO Nicki

eldon warren said...

Nice write Barbara. Well done. It IS true. We all remember just where we were that day and we'll always remember. Shame on us if we forget. :)

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Melinda,

Thank you. I like the portrait too. It seems to capture a quality I attribute to my father, that wasn't in the original photo. We watched one special that was beautifully done about a fire hall and the men in it.
We held hands while we watched because it was so different seeing everything after being in New York. Everyone felt like family.

I do miss my father every day, and I'm glad he died quietly and with my mother, not in a horrific tragedy.

Thank you for joining your dream with mine.


Barbara Muir said...

Hi Sally,

Thanks so much. That time will be so huge in our memories forever I'm sure.
I remember my older son was at the University of Windsor, and I wanted him home. I wanted everyone in my family who I loved right with me.

XO Barbara

Barbara Muir said...

Thanks Nicki,

You do too. I love your writing, and it goes without saying that I love your painting.

XO Barbara

By the way -- we went to the AGO on Sunday and looked at the Group of Seven paintings. Lawren Harris used lime green -- or bright green apple green -- only lighter in some of his winter snow scenes. And you know what? It worked.

I'm just saying.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

Thanks for your kind words. I don't think shame is helpful. But we won't forget. That day shook all of North America.

Your friend in Toronto,


Marilyn Flanegan said...

That's love. Thank you for sharing the beauty and grace of your father's life.

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Marilyn,

I do miss my Dad. He was complex, and he loved us.

XO Barbara

Portrait Artist

My photo
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I paint and draw on commission and for shows. To commission a portrait, or purchase one of my paintings please contact me at:
A major highlight in my career? Drawing Oprah Winfrey live via Skype for her show "Where in the Skype are you? Galleries: Studio Vogue Gallery, Toronto, Canada. The Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City. Gallery at the Porch Door, Kingston, Canada. Your positive comments on this blog mean the world to me. I'd love to hear from you!