I mentioned Harrison Ford in my last post and today I will be telling you the story about the circumstances in which I first met him in person.
It was was September 11 of 2001. Do you remember what happened that sad day in New York? Exactly, the tragedy with the Twin Towers. Bill and I were in New York that day because he had some work to do over there but also a few days later I was supposed to have the opening of my solo show "Vulnerable" (that was the title) at Phyllis Kind Gallery in Soho. That day In the morning Bill went out early for a meeting. Then I decided to have breakfast by myself at the hotel so I left the room and a few seconds later I found myself in the elevator with Harrison Ford and his Assistant!! It was sooo surreal! But at the same time it was so natural and normal because after all we were just three people taking the elevator. Before I left the room I remember getting a call from my Mom asking if I was OK and she said that something terrible had happened in New York, like a huge accident with a plane... I wasn't still aware of what had really happened but as always I took my camera planning to go out after breakfast in order to take some pictures of the city.
But as soon as I got to the lobby of the hotel I realized that something was definitely wrong because everybody was talking fast and loud and some women were crying and they were talking about the accident that my Mom had mentioned on the phone a few minutes ago. In the end I didn't have any breakfast and instead I walked close to the place where the "accident" had happened and took these pictures that you see below:
What a day! Everything was so confusing. It took me hours to understand what was going on. I went back to the hotel and everybody was in the lobby talking and trying to process what had just happened. Then I saw Bill who was concerned looking for me. I was relieved to know that he was OK too because his metting was very close to the World Trade Center. Then somehow he ended up talking with Harrison Ford. I didn't know that they knew each other and then I was formally introduced to him and his assistant who was a super nice young woman. To make the story short I will tell you that that night Harrison Ford, his assistant and two more people plus Bill and I had dinner close to the hotel and everything was so strange. The streets of Soho were empty and many restaurants were closed. It didn't look like New York at all. The dinner was nice and since everybody was talking about the tragedy Harrison Ford became one more in the group (he is a very down to earth person). It was amazing the way everybody was connected to each other through what had just happened. On our way back to the hotel some homeless man asked us for money and I remember that Harrison Ford gave him a couple of dollars and the man was happy. Then at the hotel we spent some time in the lobby where I had a little conversation with Harrison Ford about Cuba. He asked me about Havana and he said that he really wanted to visit the island sometime in the future. I really enjoyed the conversation and his calm personality. That was one of the most surreal days of my life that I will never forget.
And one of the most interesting things that I remember from that time is that the day before on September 10 I visited the Twin Towers for the first time with a friend of mine. We had some tea outside in a place from where you could see the towers and as I was trying to explain my friend about the idea behind my show "Vulnerable" I said: Think that nothing is permanent. For example you and I are here right now but one day we won't be here at all so our time to do what we want to do is limited... And I remember that he said: Well, look at those towers up there, one day we are going to die and they will still be there, it is incredible how small and fragile we are compared to those towers! And you know the rest of the story; next day the twin towers weren't there anymore. On September 11 I really understood how vulnerable we and everything around us is. Since that day I learned how to appreciate those little special moments in my life even more that's why I will always treasure that dinner with Harrison Ford that night. Seeing him again last Saturday made me think about September 11 again. I felt sad for the thousands of people that lost relatives, friends, co-workers etc. in that tragedy and somehow I felt lucky because I am still here.
This is one of my pieces from the show "Vulnerable" that I mentioned before. And because I am still alive I try to take advantage of every second in my life. Everyday is a race with so many things to do but I always do the best I can to dedicate a few minutes to the things that I enjoy doing like keeping the communication with you through this blog and creating new things with my hands. I feel really lucky that I can walk and talk and create and as long as I am alive I don't want to stop doing it.
Long live life!!!!