I have always been aware of safety. When I was young, it was something I rebelled against, in reaction to the fear of the outside world of my family. My father’s palpable and endless quest to feel safe took us to the post-Holocaust refuge of Brookline, Massachusetts, yet his anxiety did not seem to lessen with physical safety.
After I turned fifty in 1999, safety increasingly became something I, too, longed for. When questions of safety were catapulted into our national consciousness after September 11, 2001, my struggle with the concept increased. What does it mean to be safe? Is external safety ever possible? What is worth sacrificing for safety? Where does the search for safety lead us? Such questions have only deepened as we as a society continue to grapple with the balance between fear, security, privacy and individual freedom.
The activity that makes me feel most safe is the creation of art.