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Letter from New York
Mathew Tombers is the President of Intermat, Inc., a consulting practice that specializes in the intersection of media, technology and marketing. For two years, he produced the Emmys on the Web and supervised web related activities for the Academy, including for the 50th Anniversary year of the Emmy Awards. In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie. Visit his web site at

Thoughts on an Anniversary

By Mat Tombers

During an e-mail exchange last week with Hal, I found out that Friday, the 10th of May, was the anniversary of

It is now six months since I have been sending in my weekly column [with one week missed] to and I want to write about what writing for it has meant to me. It might not be as long a column as usual, but that's probably okay.

I wasn't sure what it was that I was going to write this week, until today,walking through the day. Earlier today, I went to see my Doctor for my annual check up. We're mildly friendly - even though he hasn't told me to, I call him by his first name, feeling, rightly or wrongly,that anyone who has the right to take some - or a lot, as it seemed today - blood out of me, should be someone I call by their first name. I feel the same way about dentists.

Anyway, we talked and he told me that last Sunday was the first time he had gone downtown since September 11. Sitting, talking with him, I realized that he is still processing what has happened.

Then, tonight, I had dinner with a friend I made during my days in the internet business. He and I haven't seen each other since November or December. As we finished dinner, sipping tea, I discovered he and I were checking in with each other about how we were doing, in regards to September 11th.

Both of us acknowledged that things were seeming normal but that this normal is different from any other normal. It is what I have called "passing for normal". Brad, my friend, had a different word for it. He called it a different normal. It's normal but it's different.

So it is. What I realized tonight is that we are all processing, working our way through what has happened and we are doing it in our conversations with those we can trust to discuss it, "it" being the sea change in our lives that has resulted in a need for mass healing. We can't do it with everyone; just with those we can trust, who we think will understand.

That's part of what this writing has been for me, an opportunity to heal, to write out for whoever reads this - and that is making the assumption that someone is reading this - what has been going in my life, in my heart, in my soul, with those that I love and those about whom I care.

It has been a healing experience to see the words form on the page and to find my feelings and thoughts find form - and function - a reason for me to think and process.

It is not easy but this has made it easier; it has given me a focus. I have been grateful for the requirement, the honoring of my pledge, to write because it has forced me to think, to feel and to form my thoughts. I wish sometimes they were more eloquent but they are what they are, as honest as I can make them.

So, thank you, Hal for giving me an opportunity to think and feel and share; I appreciate the chance. Happy Anniversary!