Saturday, September 11, 2010
Duane's 9/11 drawing.......
“A sin fell on this country on September 11th, 2001 that shattered a city. A sin that showed its head like an ugly dog. The tragedy that was to break this country united it in a way we had never seen, and strengthened our very foundation. Yet through the smoke and death…..WE STILL STAND."
Duane DuBois 9/15/01”
This was Duane’s interpretation of the terrorist attack on the WTC towers on September 11, 2001, drawn four days after the event.
Different people see different things in works of art. After looking at this drawing for a while, it seems to me that Duane was seeing sin as a living thing - note the letters “SIN” appear to have life; they seem to have bodily qualities. The way he drew the letters reminds me of the phrase “sin crouches at the door," found in Genesis 4, verse 7. Cain was angry in this story, because God was pleased with his brother Abel’s offering of a firstborn animal, but He did not accept Cain’s offering of produce from his farm. God basically asked Cain, “What’s the problem? Why the temper tantrum?” God told Cain that if he did well, he’d be accepted, but if he didn’t, then sin was lying in wait for him, ready to pounce. Apparently Cain knew what kind of offering God had asked for, yet he chose to go his own way and offer produce. God told Cain, “Sin is out to get you - you have to master it.” To personalize it, if I know that God has asked something particular of me, but I think what He asks is too hard and decide to do something easier (even if it’s something “good,” as Cain probably thought his offering was good), then “sin” is waiting to pounce on me, and there may be dire consequences. Cain could have repented, but instead he had angry words with his brother, and killed him. Sin pounced on Cain, Abel lost his life, and Cain ended up being a marked man, a homeless wanderer on Earth.
God personified sin in this passage, and that seems to me, to be what Duane was doing in his drawing. He said “a sin fell” and “reared its head.“ It looks to me like “sin” has fingers and is holding something - is it an explosive device? It looks like there is a figure behind the letters, wearing a hood and a robe or a cloak. The American flag is in the background, behind the towers, flames of destruction are there. Sin pounced on us like an ugly dog. And yet, instead of destroying us, it made us stronger and we still stand.
So that’s the track on which my mind traveled as I pondered Duane’s drawing and his words. What do you see, and what thoughts do you have?