— diabetes results look good considering stable and healthy glucose level readings since diagnosis, and still need to be confirmed by bloodwork, BUT! reduction in my Metformin script is now very much possible. Appreciate the small blessings that pepper a worrisome time. Now to work on supplementing a decent diet with actual exercise. (Hahaha…ha.) And also *not* — but very much wanting — to celebrate with a bunch of cookies. My deepest thanks to bloodsugar101.com for continuing guidance on adjusting to this diagnosis.
In the past fifteen years, I avoided watching most coverage on the attack on the Twin Towers.
I saw enough of that in 2001, but I had — and still have — little inclination to see or hear anything else — certainly not more of people emerging from smoke, ash-covered and stunned, or of firefighters, brave and worn, or of bodies falling from the skies and choosing for themselves a different conclusion.
Even now, I avoid watching these things. But a PBS show called 9/11: Inside the Pentagon, made me reconsider: perhaps this is the year I can watch something about that day.
But in the first half hour of the program was a clip of a plane hitting one of the towers.
I’ve never seen it. Have actively refused to chance seeing something, anything, like it.
But now I did. And I wish I could unsee it.
But there it was, finally seen, those familiar shapes of gray and steel against a perfect September sky.
I couldn’t watch the rest.
Last Sunday marked fifteen years since the attack. I didn’t commemorate the day on social media, didn’t acknowledge it, made no mention of it at all even in real life. I have mixed feelings about seeing all the images paying tribute to the heroes of that day, or hearing sound bites of news anchors reporting the events from New York and Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Only one of the tributes felt right: the Light. It felt, and still feels, hopeful. The rest never did, many of them tinged with the same hatred that made that day significant and terrible. Even this essay feels wrong to me, because it doesn’t quite capture everything I want to say or how I felt, being in the Battery Tunnel as it was filling with debris and smoke and white ash from one of the towers — to this day, I don’t know which one — and running, running, running, even though my lungs wanted to give up all effort and my legs felt like whales attached to the rest of me.
And it doesn’t encapsulate the gratitude I felt, and still feel, that, like so blessed few of us that day, I was able to come home to familiar beloved faces, when so many others, with lives and loves just like mine, did not.
There are a few things I can’t leave home without, and aside from the usual wallet-keys-phone trifecta, the most important is my sketchkit.
Rest your weary feet, 2015. You did good.
You were a year of harsh winter and cruel summer, and lengthy mild days in between. You brought with you hopes turned into great horrors turned back again. And for me, many small joys to balance one sudden sorrow.
Rest now. You are memory bitter and sweet, but a treasure to a human being still in progress.
It’s up now if you’d like to see photos of the day and some of my sketches: 9/11 Memorial Plaza.
And if you happen to be in NYC, join us for a sketch — the NYC chapter of Urban Sketchers meets twice a week on a weekday and a weekend day. Check the site for details, as venues are usually posted a few days before the event.
Slightly modified. That little removable water cup is useless to me, so I filled it with a color I use fairly often (cobalt blue) and secured it with my favorite mod tool, putty adhesive. The only other thing I wish I could change about this box is its weird ivory color. It influences colors when I mix.
Modified Winsor & Newton box.
As many of you know (and see on this site and elsewhere), I’ve used the Hobonichi Techo planner for the past two years. I love it as a record of happy anecdotes and interests, an art journal of things and moments to explore and remember. The Tomoegawa paper takes most fountain pen inks and other media including watercolor, which enhances the pleasure of working in such a beautifully minimalist book. The design of the planner is never intrusive, providing a wonderful structure to give weight to your appointments, tasks, and creativity — an elegance in design that, to me, signifies the fundamental elements of a distinctly Japanese aesthetic: a light, considered, and considerate touch to guide you in organizing thoughts into words and pictures.
So I was pleased as punch to see two of my entries included in Hobonichi’s “Usage Examples” section. Thank you to Lindsay for reaching out, and deep gratitude to Itoi-san and ARTS&SCIENCE for producing the English-language version of a much-beloved diary that’s become such an essential part of my day.