Thursday, September 1, 2011

Imagery of a Mommy's Pink Hand Bag - 9/11 Hope & Renewal Memorial Series

September 11 - Hope & Renewal
 #1 in an 11-Day Memorial Series of Posts

A picture can tell thousands of words, if not an infinite number of stories that are as personal and numerous as all the ways each of us was touched by the events of September 11th.

This first post in a new series marking the days leading up to the 10th Anniversary of that tragic and historical day, interprets the symbolism behind the icon for this 9/11 mommy blogger memorial series: A pink hand bag emblazoned with a scene that includes the World Trade Center much as it looked early the morning of September 11, 2001 . The purse chosen to be associated with this very special group of posts, was purchased in New York in January when I was last in the city for the Dreamers Into Doers Conference hosted by Martha Stewart OmniMedia

Hopefully this series -- featuring new daily inspirational posts to be published each of the first 11 days of September through 9/11 -- will provide solace and a glimmer of hope to all. Just as importantly, I hope this project serves as a new source of renewal for all moms, dads, women, men, and children who were directly affected, as well as to the American public at large.
iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

The Story Behind this Iconic Pink Bag
I had originally bought this bag as a souvenir on my most recent NYC business trip for one of my triplet daughters.  But, when I got back to the West Coast, I had an unexplained feeling that this seemingly kitsch of a purse had a higher purpose, so instead I wrapped it in tissue paper to stash away.

Recently, I took this bag out again, to look at it more closely. What struck me first was, though it was manufactured recently, it depicts both towers and all the other structures of the World Trade Center neighborhood still standing, much as they did before the first commercial jet was crashed into its walls on 9/11.

The Statue of Liberty and fireworks on the horizon as well as the city lights on the skyline all evoked a sense of patriotic appreciation for everything that America has always stood for. It seemed to be speaking to me and saying, “The freedom and bravery of the United States and its citizens is resilient and can never be taken away from us, no matter what challenges lay before our people."

The pink background appears to stir profound emotions, as well. After all this is a soft color that is derived from blending a small amount of red and a much larger amount of white together – with the red symbolizing our huge losses that day and the white representing the magnified new found hope and renewal for the future that has sprung forth from the ashes. The use of color here truly succeeds as it frames the entire image so appropriately and beautifully in other ways too. Notice that the sky is pink -- not black or gray -- on the horizon looking eastward over the Hudson River.  I interpret this as a new dawn that is just arriving on the shores of America in 2011.

This morning, the first day of September, I took this hand bag outside to photograph it to contrast the scene of the New York I remember from by childhood replete it’s pre-2001 skyline still intact against the greenest grass I could find. I'd intended to simply juxtapose the green new growth against the bag to underscore a new beginning for America. 

But something really phenomenal happened. I’d already decided to use this artful accessory as the icon for this 11 Days of September Internet memorial before I even had loaded the image on my computer screen. Then it struck me.  Zooming in on the digital photo on the desktop, I noticed something really unusual about this picture.

iPhone Photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

Look closely at the details of the photo above -- taken this morning -- showing the effect the natural light created when I snapped this pic with my iPhone. What you see appears to be a column of light between the two towers shining brighter and brighter as it reaches toward heaven. Notice the reflection of light that spills over into the darkness of the river in front of it, too, reminding us never to forget. Yet, it’s as if the brightness above – a new and stronger glow to light our path -- is the predominant force spurring us forward, symbolizing inspiration, hope, and renewal as we move toward the future with optimism.

Don't miss the other posts in this unique Mommy Blogger
September 11th Memorial
Series of Hope & Renewal

Thursday, September 1, 2011 - Imagery of a Pink Hand Bag
Friday, September 2, 2011 – Life is Too Short After 9/11 Book Review
Saturday, September 3, 2011 – Charity Event Fitting Memorial to 9/11
Sunday, September 4, 2011 – Songs & Music Inspired by 9/11
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 – Teaching Kids from K-12 About 9/11
Thursday, September 8, 2011 –  9/11 Acknowledged by Fashion's Night Out

Please Comment
What kinds of things have you seen or experienced in the past decade that have given you new hope and a feeling of renewal 10 years later? Please share and leave a comment below.

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1 comment:

  1. I had originally bought this bag as a gift on my a lot of contempo NYC business cruise for one of my leash daughters.

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