3pm on October 29, 2012. I was alone in a tiny cocoon across the street and high above the Long Island Sound, tucked away in a crawlspace with a sleeping bag, battery operated lantern, a fully charged phone and my camera.
The winds were wild and the skies an angry dark, dark grey as Sandy ripped through this sleepy shoreline town.
I took these pictures from my window before darkness set in and the storm reached its peak – before it was too dangerous to come out of the crawl space – where I stayed for the next 16 hours.
I was deeply grateful for family and friends, some who were also in the path of the storm. They sent texts all night long to check on me while the storm battered us. I was alone in this, but they helped me feel less alone, somehow connected and cared for.
It was a scary night. In some ways it was more frightening than the two times I faced life-threatening cancers. Another profound reminder that there are forces larger than us and control is an illusion. . . a humbling experience.
I spent the next few months gathering debris that washed up on the shore, eventually collecting more than 300 pieces that I shipped to artists around the country (with your help, thank you).
Months later artists are sending me photographs of the transformed debris and each one moves me. . .I have no words. When all of the work is completed I will mount an online exhibit sharing the artist’s thoughts, work in progress photos and images of the finished pieces.
You can read more on the project’s website Peace by Piece.
If you would like a sneak peek of the transformed debris before the actual exhibit, Monthly Art Muse subscribers are getting a first look at the finished work over the next couple of months (you can too when you sign up here).
I am grateful for the quiet weather today. I take nothing for granted. While much of the landscape here has changed, lives are intact. That is not true in other areas, where many people who were in the storm’s path are still suffering from enormous losses. It makes the months-long constant drone of construction crews outside my window seem trivial – because it is indeed trivial.
I am also grateful to the twenty artists who are working with me on this project - a journey of reflection and hope; joy and beauty; life and death, through the eyes of a select group of artists. A reminder that when we fall down, we can and must rise up, move past destruction towards beauty and hope for the next chapter.
And I am grateful to be here. . .still able to bring you inspiration from artists across the globe as you continue your journey.
I wish you a peaceful day with much love and calm waters. . .