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An Essay Of Passion
by Suzanne G. Beyer
I glanced down at the stack of magazines sitting on the floor of our
local YMCA. I saw a picture of my daughter and me standing atop the World
Trade Center. If this werent shock enough, directly underneath
the photo was my essay about the devastating destruction of the two giant
New York icons and the precious souls lost on that September 11th day.
My words made front-page news on the cover of the Seattle-area magazine
called Northwest Prime Time. This is a paper covering issues
relating to senior citizens and since I felt I was teetering on senior
citizenship, I thought it would serve as good reading material. It also
seemed the perfect publication for my outpouring of thoughts that tragic
I wrote the essay for therapeutic reasons. Here I sat in Seattle, watching
this made-for-TV movie, seeing two planes crash into the buildings, then
their total collapse. Horror overcame me, and with that pit in my stomach,
like the feeling after a death in the family, I needed to scream out my
pain. But who would listen? I was a native New Yorker and so far away.
This was a hurt felt by all Americans, but somehow my sadness was more
acute and increasingly getting worse. I chose to write to help me with
my struggle to grasp such horror an assault on my roots, my city!
This attack felt personal.
Writing just flowed. I reminisced about my family standing on the roof
of the World Trade Center. I recall pointing out all the bridges (even
getting one wrong, as my daughter noted according to the plaque). I spotted
my Staten Island high school, Curtis, which we used to call The
castle on the hill. I told my children about working on Liberty
Street, taking the ferry each day from my home on Staten Island and how
Id eat my bag lunch in the graveyard of historic Trinity Church
at the head of Wall Street. The graveyard provided sanctuary from the
sweltering, bustling city streets and a needed respite for an hour. Memories
rushed to the forefront as I recorded my scattered, emotionally charged
thoughts at a good 90 wpm. It was a long, rambling piece that I shortened
to 600 words.
Upon receiving my article, Editor Roedell of Northwest Prime Time
phoned to see if I had a photo to accompany my words.
Yours was the only article I received about 9/11, she said.
Not knowing what she had in mind, I could only pray she wanted to publish
it. But truly, to this day, I cant comprehend why no one submitted
an article to her magazine about this horrific event.
From that first piece, "Headline News," where I received $75.00,
Ive written numerous non-fiction articles ranging from growing
redwood trees in our front yard to the benefits of swimming exercise and
have been published in several national magazines. More importantly, however,
Im a regular contributor to Northwest Prime Time. Last
year, I opened the paper to another surprise
Suzanne G. Beyer."
© Copyright 2006, Suzanne G. Beyer
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