On September 11, 2001, I was living in Burlington, VT – painting, enjoying the coming autumn, etc. I didn’t have a TV (still don’t), never listened to the radio (still don’t) and the internet was just a nice road through the hills – not the information speedway it is today.
I woke up that morning with a desire to paint big red fiery paintings. I had a couple of large pieces of masonite – a 4′ x 4′ square and a 4′ x 2.5′ rectangle – and a few cans of red, yellow, orange, and purple latex paints. So around 8 am, with a cup of coffee, I went at it. One painting I called ‘Phoenix’ and the other ‘Unsquaring the Circle’. A few hours later, I went for a walk downtown and thought it odd how everyone seemed glued to their tvs – in bars and restaurants… there was a strange lull in the air… a strange quiet sense of being stunned. In one fell swoop, one great unsquaring of the the circle, a whole new demon was released. And a whole whole lot changed or at last reared it’s ugly head at last.
There was a lightness that died that day. Things got a little more serious. From economic crashes to ‘terrorism’ to endlessly costly wars to government intrusion – it’s a different world than the one I knew from the 90s and it does it’s best to squelch hope (even when it says that you should have some!) and inculcate fear.
But life goes on. Fear desires fear but life – life desires light. And light begets light. An life without fear, in the seemingly darkest of moments, is the most illuminated life of all.
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