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September 19, 2001

The Stones of New York
David Cohen's tribute to the Twin Towers
September 14, 2001

From: Barbara Bentley <digerati@newmex.com>
Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2001 16:37:00 -0600
To: <rlandfield@nyc.rr.com>
Subject: Thank You To Ronnie

Dear Ronnie,

 The great artists, whose courage channels truth and beauty into form, make all our lives better.

"The realization that the power, beauty and tenderness of works of art, at that moment seemed unimportant to me, scared me and also woke me up. As an artist the faith required to make visible the invisible and to express the inexpressible prepares you to accept the unacceptable and embrace the unknown."

 This made me burst into tears. It is very beautiful and true. We all need you, we need all artists of heart and mind and courage; we need to see your faith and fierceness, and the evidence of outrageous beauty; we need to know that your human soul and heart can counter pain and evil with truth, and that the vital power of the spirit be made manifest on canvas or in wood, plastic, clay, paint. It makes me feel stronger in the wake of this madness; it makes me glad to know that you, Ronnie, are there. Keep going — hug your wife for me, and I send best wishes and thanks to you both, and your sons.

 You're the culture we're here to defend.

Barbara Bentley

 I feel so badly for Ronnie (and other friends who live downtown) to be there, witness the tragedy and continue to experience the current state of life in New York.
As far as painting in this environment goes, I've been having an inner dialogue concerning the value of what I do and what is meaningful. I hope my work may soothe some hearts. Having just hung the show at the Ranchos Trading Post two days before the attacks, I question how much art matters to the general public now. Of course I hope to continue to generate income through my paintings but I will be content if they merely create a healing sentiment to anyone who might see them, as that is a big part of what compels me to paint in the first place.

Jan Sessler

 Thank you for sending me that. Twenty years ago I had the choice of either moving into a loft in Soho or leave NY for the magical SW. I chose to leave but this horrible turn of events made it clear that my heart is still bonded to that part of NY that nurtured my creativity. My family is still there, downtown, cross-town trying to catch a clean breath of air.. make sense of this horror. I am grateful to all of you who would turn to prayer, to beauty and love...who would choose to hold the faith and create a balance to hate, war and destruction.

Anita B.

Reflections upon 911. . .

Dear Ronnie,

 Thank you for sharing your thoughts and works in these troubled times. Historically it has been the artist's job to mirror civilization, the antennae of society if you will. This artist doesn't like what he sees. I've just returned from the Taos Mountain Film Festival opening film called "Jung", the Afghani word for war. It is a brilliant, horrific, and enlightening documentary by Giuseppe Pettito which shows in wrenching detail the struggle the Afghani people have endured at the hands of so many ideologues and foreign governments. I would encourage everyone to find this documentary and watch it and weep, as did many at the theater today. The root of this cancer that has now spread to our shores is poverty, a condition we have the ability to correct. The Taliban, like so many others is using these beautiful human beings for their own selfish gain as so many have before them. If we are insistent on bombing these people then do so with a new paradigm of food, clothing, schools, hospitals and agricultural development. Strengthen them in spirit and provide for their physical needs. I remain a peace extremist, but if this horrible regime is to fall, I firmly believe they will themselves give the Taliban a serious hiney wooping as they have done with everyone else that attempted to erase them from their lands. If we want to end terrorism we need to attend to the root cause of the disease, we need to nurture them out of hunger and despair. The United States government and the United Nations have abandoned the Afghani people and we must accept our collusion and culpability in the current world theater. Imagine for a moment if we were the most enlightened country in the world instead of the most powerful.

Jack Smith
Ranchos de Taos

E-MAIL webmaster Ron Davis if you wish to add to the dialog surrounding the events of September 11, 2001.
I will be pleased to post it:

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