On this page we feature posts from Laura’s Facebook page – items she wants to share with a wider audience.
This post is from September 11, 2018:
FDNY Ladder 118 / Engine 205
I grew up across the street from FDNY Ladder 118 / Engine 205, on Middagh Street in Brooklyn Heights. Ever since I could remember, I grew up around their fire-truck wail. I never even noticed it. People visiting would ask, How can you sleep with that noise? And we’d say, What noise? Those firemen were always there – any fires in our building, or when the basement at P.S. 8 exploded with us kids in it, they were always there, in a blink. They were my first heroes.
Going to the school down the block, I can’t tell you how many tours we took as kids – they had a fire pole and even a Dalmatian, the official mascot of firehouses. They were always friendly and funny, and they answered all our questions and zipped down the pole for us. But what was special was when a couple of us kids would sneak in the alley – a maybe two-foot gap between the firehouse and its neighbor – and watch them. It was a thrill, giggling, peeking at the fireman as they cooked dinner or played cards. And when they caught us, they waved us in and shared their dessert.
FDNY Ladder 118 / Engine 205 were first responders on 9/11. And ALL of them perished. Whenever I go home, I walk past what I think of as my firehouse. That space we used to squeeze into felt magical, because it let us observe superheroes pretending to be normal. It’s sealed up now. They weren’t superheroes, they were brave beings, and they lost their lives doing what they had always done – responding to those needing help. I weep every time I go back home and walk past, and I never stop trying to find that secret alley that might take me back in time.
I think it’s hard to write about our sadness because so much of 9/11 is intertwined with polarizing politics – which makes it difficult to honor how very tragic and traumatizing this event was and will continue to be – from the kids who are growing up without parents to the parents who lost their children – and to the unnecessary wars that were engaged in the name of this horror, which continue to cause suffering around the globe… I grew up watching those towers go up. And when I got to meet the man who walked them on a wire, it was lovely to hug him say – you knew the joy of what was once there.
This post is from August 28, 2018:
Thank you for all your messages of support, love, and shared telling. I was always very much against hero worship – my mother deconstructed that for me, and I really resisted it. That was what I dug about the punk scene, the idea that you were an equal. What drew me to want to connect to William Patrick Corgan was his willingness to honestly explore his past with the The Smashing Pumpkins, when very few were talking about this kind of stuff, especially a rock star – you have to remember, at that time rock – mainstream music, alternative rock, whatever the fuck you wanna call it – even punk – really wasn’t talking about abuse. That anger was turned either towards the political situation or into love/rage songs. Very few people were brave enough to make themselves available to discuss in their music what they’d experienced in their past. That’s what drew me to Billy, that he was doing exactly that. His lyrics deeply resonate. I was in a coliseum of people last night, with a range of ages, and his lyrics so resonated. Everyone’s gone through trauma of some extent, and Billy just tapped into it, honestly sharing his truth. That’s what called me to reach out. And of course at first I did so in my mask, but I sensed I could peek out from behind it. And what’s so very beautiful and moving was that he recognized a deeper truth and my desire to express suffering, transform it into art, and not be alone with it. And he understood that what I was creating was not a dark evil twisted thing, that it was something which came from wounding and ultimately was of love and trying to be of service, to connect and find a way out of a cave.
He also understood the deep unrelenting shame I felt and my need to hide, and he didn’t care. Billy understood I was slowly coming out of my shell, like how you steady a kid learning to ride a bicycle without training wheels – he loaned me his support – oh it makes me cry – to help me pedal on my own. That’s what this is about, being flexible to understanding. When people are wounded they do things that might seem very bizarre to someone who has not experienced those things. Ultimately the gift is to step back and ask, Are we here to heal or hurt? Coz being wounded can allow for a deeper compassion and capacity for empathy, often expressed in complex ways. That’s why so many people who have been hurt become artists.
What I experienced last night was radiant, and there are all kinds of levels and connections swirling through me – it feels like something else is at work, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s true or not, because at the end of the day it’s all metaphor. Fiction is what we fabricate to get us through the day, and if we can do so with our hearts intact – holding the hearts of others – success!!
I choose to believe I’m connected to something larger than myself – I do NOT live within the illusion of my isolation of self. William Patrick Corgan has been a sustaining force, and the coincidences are quite astounding. It’s about our respect for seeing truth in darkness and finding a way to tell about it through art. And you either get that or you don’t.
And ultimately, it’s about LOVE… Believe in me because I believe in you – tonight… xo LA