9/11 Tribute

A Tribute

Private Collection

A Tribute

The journey and creation of “A Tribute” began August 2nd 2001 between the hours of 8:45 and 9:30 a.m. It was an incredibly quiet day as I set up on location to paint a study of my subject. Two gnarled old apple trees stood before me with an expanse of distance behind them. The stillness enveloped me like an invisible dome. The quiet was so pronounced that early morning, that it almost felt surreal. Not a whisper of a breeze was present; only the bright clear sky and intense sun. Sounds of nature resonated clearly. Beside me I could hear rustling in the grass, insect voices zinged and clicked while birds’ wings gently motioned in the air just overhead. With my eyes closed, I could feel the intensity of the quiet caress and soothe my spirit. I left that day feeling an intense calm and great appreciation for the gifts of nature.

On September 9th, 2001, I returned to the same location to take slides of my subject for future reference. While I sat in observation of these two gnarled old apple trees, they became personified. One’s appearance seemed to possess male attributes and the other female. The tree to the right I assigned as female. It was slender and smaller. It seemed to be more decorative, possessing more leaves and fruit. The apple tree to the left was my male version. It was broader and lacked the foliage and fruit of its counterpart. I left thinking about the relationship of these two old apple trees and wondered how long they had stood side by side.

Two days later on September 11th, 2001, the world as we knew it changed with the attack and fall of the “Twin Towers”. The twin towers, icons of New York City’s skyline, disappeared along with the many souls whose lives were sacrificed. Reeling from the immensity of such a violent act the world came to a standstill.

A couple of days later while driving to work, my thoughts and emotions focused on the towers and the dreadful loss of life when suddenly I felt an overwhelming connection between the towers and the two old gnarled apple trees. The trees had stood beside each other for many years, as did the twin towers. The humanness of the apple trees was symbolic of the lives that existed in the towers. Thus, the seed for the creation of “A Tribute” evolved.

May “A Tribute” serve as a symbol of life’s renewal and hope. The cycle of life presses onward, but only now with a higher consciousness and sacred appreciation for life itself. A Tribute is dedicated to all those who lost loved ones and especially to all those who perished in the September 11th terrorists attacks. May their sacrifice to the world awaken our consciousness and propel us to better serve mankind.

Yours Very Sincerely,

Debbie Lamey-MacDonald

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  1. Posted September 12, 2009 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for this. I cannot find words to express my gratitude toyou for such a thought provoking rendition of the WTC . Being a survivor of that fateful day in history and having lost so many co workers & friends , along with my boyfriend who was one of the firefighters who perished there that day , this painting will hold a special place in my heart . I love the trees there Debbie , thank you so much for being able to bring beauty to a day of sheer horror .

    • Debbie
      Posted September 13, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for your very kind words and sharing your story Mia. I am also sorry for the losses you experienced that day. It was a day our world changed forever. Without hope and renewal we would be frozen in fear. The human spirit is a powerful one–many spirits together create change. I am honored that “A Tribute” created feelings of a renewed spirit for you. Hugs!

  2. Posted September 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    This is amazing Debbie, how uncanny that all this happened prior to 9/11. I do believe as artists we sense things at a deeper level and I can see that you have done this. I sense the spirit in this painting. My art teacher once told me that some paintings will reveal a 4th dimension. This one certainly has. It speaks volumes. Wonderful story, uplifting in a time of great sorrow.

    • Debbie
      Posted September 13, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment Janet! I do believe artists have a 6th sense that is guided. Listening to that intuitive voice is the key to creating work that will express a message that hopefully will help or inspire others. I am honored that “A Tribute” can help generate feelings of hope. Thanks for your visit.

  3. Posted September 13, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful painting with a soulful meaning. Thank you for the wonderful reflection. I am speechless. 9/11 is a day I will never forget.

    • Posted September 14, 2009 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much Cheryl. Yes, I agree it is a day we will never forget.

  4. CarolAnne Roscigno
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Dear Debbie,

    I am the friend that Jill Claussen-Munro sent “A tribute” note card to. Jill is one of the most thoughtful, loving people I know and I so appreciated your personal note enclosed with the card. I am going to share these note cards with all of the co-workers that were with me that horrific morning when we witnessed this sorrowful event at our desks in lower Manhattan and while trying to flee the massive “Canyon of Hero’s” on foot for hours. We lost two people that day that we knew, an EMT who was a single Mom and a brother of a friend who worked in the So. Tower. Being so upclose and personal to such devastation before my very eyes will never leave my mind or prayers. Ever! You have brought a “calm and peaceful” feeling and renewal of life in this wonderful painting. Thanks so much for sharing it with us, we look forward to sharing your website with all of our friends and family.

  5. CarolAnne Roscigno
    Posted January 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi again:

    Debbie, how can I order “A Tribute” gift notes? Checked your site but only see your paintings (which are magnificent). Thank you again.
    CarolAnne (NY)

    • Posted January 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Hi Carol,
      So lovely to hear from you. I agree, Jill is a special person. She has displayed great kindness to my son and I.
      Thank you so much for sharing your story and your kind words. My heart goes out to you and your colleagues for both the losses and devastation you experienced that fateful day. It is a day that changed the world as we knew it.
      I am honored that “A Tribute” has offered some sense of peace and renewal. It was a painting that took on a spirit of its own in which I humbly followed its lead.
      I’ll get in touch with you via email about purchasing cards of “A Tribute”.
      Thanks Carol,
      Warmly Debbie

  6. Erika
    Posted September 11, 2010 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    This is an incredible painting. So beautiful, but yet, sorrowful at the same time. It really captures the spirit of that day.

    • Posted September 11, 2010 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Thanks so much Erika! I really appreciate your visit and comment. It is definitely a day that changed our world as we knew it.

  7. Joanne Spilman Kilduff
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi Debbie. Somehow I missed this painting when I first saw your blog. My husband Larry and I had visited the twin towers on August 5, 2001 to have dinner with NY friends we had not seen in some time since we had move to Pa. One had designed the new Greatest Bar on Earth in the tower, which we saw after dinner. I had only been in the towers once before as height is not a friend of mine. I still remember my husband exiting the elevators at the restaurant and putting his hands up against the large glass window and turning his head to say “See nothing is going to happen.” Our host had wisely seated us one tier up from the restaurants windows so I would not look directly out. When I got brave I took a peek to see helicopters flying below my feet. We had lived in NY for 10 years and my husband toured the towers to see what an engineering marvel they were. Five weeks later on September 11th, I was putting on my shoes for a morning walk back in suburban Pennsylvania, and hear Matt Lauer say “we must stop this interview, we have breaking news.” Matt was oddly white as a ghost. I went downstairs, and as I passed through the kitchen I turned on the small tv I kept there to check the breaking news. My life changed in a second. I called my husband who was in Baltimore. In the mean time the second tower was hit and my husband said, Oh god, Carlos works there. We were in disbelief. I said, Larry these were big planes the towers are going to fall. He said “no way.” I was due to go that afternoon to a week long art seminar where Andy Jones was teaching out at Steph’s studio near Lancaster, Pa. Instead, I called my son who lived in NY. It took 45 minutes to locate him. He was on the subway when it happened. I told him to leave his office at once and head north to pick up his girlfriend and go to her mothers house up north. I told him not to go in the subway but walk fast north as he was on lower Broadway. I left to go to the store and bought provisions, extra water, to the bank, filled my tank with gas. As I pulled into my garage I heard there was a plane down in Pennsylvania. I called my youngest sons school and asked what they were doing. I went to pick him up. Then the Pentagon was hit. My friend called from Sweden to find out if we were ok. The planes stopped flying overhead. It got totally silent. Our lives were changed forever. Three weeks later we went to Carlo’s memorial. He had worked for my husband for 10 years. As long as I live, I will never forget this sequence of events. I will never forget the losses besides our friend. All of our former neighbors worked close by but escaped coming home with dust all over them. I will never forget the policeman’s gaunt faces when we were in NY for Carlo’s service. Thank you for painting something so beautiful as a tribute. Every September 11th I remember with such clarity every step of that day and that following week and longer.

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