Thursday, January 04, 2007

Back for the Future


No matter how much time you have off, it's never enough. Especially after really wonderful time off. We had the luxury of spending a week at home enjoying Christmas and Boxing Day and then most of a week with my family in Dallas. It was only the second time I'd been back to Texas since our move and I've never enjoyed Mexican (and Chinese and Italian) food so much. I got to spend a leisurely afternoon with my friend Karen while my mom watched all the kids. Her husband Brad joined us after work (not all of us got time off) which kicked off the first of a run of restaurant visits requiring the rearranging of many tables to accommodate us all. And a New Years resolution to start the Sonoma Diet.


My sister-in-law Aisha introduced us to the Nasher Sculpture Museum (see photo of one of their Jonathah Borofsky sculptures) which conveniently sits next to the Dallas Museum of Fine Art. Although we skipped the massive lines for the Van Gosh exhibit, it was heartening to see so many people jammed into an art museum and we enjoyed wandering the permanent collections. The Nasher allowed photos, the DMFA did not. The Nasher has good coffee.

On the drive down we stopped in Oklahoma City with hopes of locating the Oklahoma City Memorial. We arrived just before twilight so we were able to see it for some moments in the daylight before watching it transform as night fell and the illumination took prominence. Two towers, one of which is built on the only remaining wall of the original building, are divided by a long reflecting pool. They illuminate the times 9:01 and 9:03, the moments before and after the bombing.


On one side of the pool is a series of illuminated metal chairs, arranged symmetrically and reminiscent of a cemetery, which are labeled with the name of the person who lost their life in close proximity to where their chair is situated. Along the perimeter of the memorial is the remainder of the original chain link fence covered with the trinkets, prayers, photos, shoes, beads, and crosses of the families and strangers who have come there to remember and to mourn. No celebration ever erases the residue of loss but I was grateful, after viewing such a massive testament of pain, that what the angels proclaimed on Christmas night 2000 years ago still rings loud and still rings true: good news of great joy--a savior is born.

8 comments:

bork belgenshlop said...

absolutely wonderful but you forgot the bit about the knitting contest!!!!

Jenni said...

I love that sculpture, and I love this entry.

Karen Miedrich-Luo said...

We also visited the OKC memorial over Christmas, in 2005. It was a bright clear day, the kind that hurts your eyes. The girls played on the children's plaza in front of the museum where the sidewalk was covered in a collage of tributes made by children from all the states. Bethany lost her favorite car there. All I could think about were those children that the bomber called "just collateral." I love that prayers are offered daily on a chainlink fence, here, as in Chimaya.

stacy barton said...

i am from okla city and went to that memorial on my last visit -when my dear granmother died. i was struck by two things - the small chairs, signifying the children who died, and the remnant of a bombed wall, left stark and ugly to remind us of the reality of destruction. i liked that, that the memorial was not only beautiful.

Jenny Johnson said...

Hey Allison! Hi from Houston. I have been periodically enjoying your blog. Congratulations on the publicaions and the move. It looks like paradise from here, I can hardly believe it's real...
Jenny Johnson

Anonymous said...

Omigosh!! We missed the Van Gosh!

allison said...

Jenny,

I can't email you (I tried in Houston but the address didn't work). If you still have mine email me! I had wanted to get in touch with you before we left. And I still can hardly believe it's real either, that we're here that is. Look at all the snow we missed by not going to CO! Ski Missouri...

Anonymous said...

yer one heck of a visionary