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Saturday, September 10, 2011

My personal take on 9/11/11

Ten years after (also an old rock and roll band...)
I was living in Houston Texas and at  work at the Downtown headquarters of Bank of America on 9/11. One of my coworkers said "Oh wow, a plane slammed into a skyscraper in New York..."
Soon we realized the import of this statement, and found a TV to watch in awestruck disbelief. As soon as it was ascertained that there was a fourth plane unaccounted for, downtown Houston was evacuated and we all went home. I watched from home, completely overwhelmed. I finally decided to go and donate blood, as that was SOMETHING THAT I COULD DO. Not realizing how total the destruction was, we all thought that there would be this tremendous need for blood. The line was long, and most of the afternoon was taken up at the Houston Blood Center.
I was feeling totally powerless. There had to be SOMETHING THAT I COULD DO. My minister, Gail Lindsy Mariner of First Unitarian Universalist church, spoke eloquently at a special service about how she was concerned about the association of the flag with the militaristic backlash after the event. Her quote is "In my spare moments I'm trying to figure out how to morph stars into doves so I can create a flag where the stars in the field of blue transform into birds of peace as you scan from left to right." Being a fibre artist, this image blossomed in my brain complete and whole. I went home, dragged out all of my red, white and blue fabric and made my own flag. The peace doves were taken from a chilren's website, Peace Pals and are created from fabric applied to freezer paper.
This piece was exhibited at the International Festival of Quilts in Houston that October (we were all amazed that so many pieces could be completed in 6 weeks -over  300 pieces were received) and published in a book of the exhibit titled "America from the Heart" .
Working on this piece brought me peace and acceptance, and I still have it hanging prominently in my home. The doves of peace are a little ragged from moves and being cat toys, but they are still streaming off of the flag!

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