This is my first post since June. For those of you who follow my posts on Beautyskew, you know this is unusual. I tend to post at least once per week. Not once every few months.
Where was I all this time?
And why am I posting today of all days?
The reason for my hiatus isn’t a bad one. I wasn’t terribly overworked or recovering from some illness. On the contrary! I had a wonderful summer full of fun, travel and first-time experiences. I was “quiet” because I decided to expand my online presence from Beautyskew.com to a full site, abigailposner.com, of which Beautyskew is a part. And this meant me spending time on site development versus writing. The new site allows me to share some other sides to myself while also sharing my love for beauty in culture. ( Check it out and let me know what you think. :))
Man, I missed writing so I’m thrilled to be back!
Why did I choose today, the anniversary of the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, to post? I post about beauty, after all. What a terrible, ugly, day to post about something so wonderful, right?
I remember 9/11 as if it were yesterday. I was living a few blocks above Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, and I had given birth to my first son, Elijah, only 14 days earlier. Had it been any other year, I would have walked to work that day. And I would have seen one of the planes flying very low overhead in preparation for the first strike. Instead I was going back to sleep after one of my son’s many morning feedings. No sooner had my head hit the pillow that my brother called me all the way from Israel. He had heard about the attack before I had. I rushed to turn on the TV and saw the images of the Twin Towers in flames.
Needless to say, I spent almost my entire maternity leave with one eye glued to the news in horror. But my other eye was focused on my son as I joyfully watched my new beautiful baby grow.
I’m sure you all have memories of that day — and they may be far worse than mine.
So why am I returning to post about beauty TODAY? It’s moments like this when we must remember that there is beauty in the world. And even more importantly, that we have the potential to create even more of it. The Freedom Tower isn’t just a memorial, or a sign to the world that we’ve persevered. It’s an example of our human capacity for brilliance, beauty and craft. Creating things of beauty, especially on top of ugliness, shows human beings’ amazing sense of imagination and our ability to make things better. And it’s this knowledge of our own agency — the belief that we have the power to make manifest our visions of beauty and creativity — that can overcome our feelings of helplessness, anger, and shame, i.e., the very feelings that push so many towards acts of hatred.
15 years later (and two more children for me :)), I’m not saying we shouldn’t mourn. We must. But let’s also remember that there’s beauty, and more importantly, the potential for beauty, all around us. And by recognizing, sharing and creating more of it, we can create a more just, humane and lovely world.