Sign The Guestbook
View The Guestbook
Archived Guestbook
Submit An Article
Staff List
Privacy Policy



Weekly Features
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 In addition to its consulting engagements, Intermat recently sold METEOR’S TALE, an unpublished novel by Michael O’Rourke, to Animal Planet for development as a television movie.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

Reflections of a different New York kind of holiday!

November 26th, 2001

It is Thanksgiving afternoon; the day has been spent watching the Macy’s
Parade and settling more things into the little house on the banks of the
Claverack creek we closed on two weeks ago. It is as peaceful here as it is
chaotic in the city. The house is situated on the southern end of two acres,
all of it edging the creek which flows slowly by me as I sip my coffee.

We came up here to begin looking on the 7th of September and it was the first
place we looked at and, after looking at several others, realized how special
it was and raced back to make an offer. Thankfully, it was accepted.

Last night, after picking Tripp up at the train station we came "home" as
this is what this little place has become. It has become the home we have
been looking for in New York. We have an apartment in New York and a home in
the country, where we can think and be and rest.

Yet there is a sense of being connected, of all of this being part of one
continuum, the city and the country, one life being lived with some sense.
It was what I felt last night, more strongly than I have, perhaps, ever felt.
A sense of home. Not just with this physical house but with this life I am
living and the location in which I am living it.

I have lived in many places. I don’t know that I have felt at home in any of
them the way I felt at home here, last night. A sense of rightness with life
and place that is both peace inducing and life affirming. I had some moments
of that in Los Angeles in the ‘80’s. It is good to like my life, what I am
doing, where I am and the people who inhabit my world – all over the world.

This sense of being at home is, to maintain the theme of these articles, a
result and an outgrowth of September 11th. Tripp has often said to me: you
are always looking for the next thing as opposed to savoring the now thing.
And he has always been right. It is an outgrowth of a Minnesota Catholic
upbringing in an upwardly mobile middle class family with high expectations.

While other things in my life have reminded me of the finite quality of life,
I have not listened to those messages the way this message has been
communicated to me. It is one thing to see an individual life snuffed out;
it is another thing to see thousands of lives snuffed out in a mad moment and
to witness icons fall. In the dust of the Towers the message could not be
clearer. From dust to dust. It is my responsibility to live the moments in

On this Thanksgiving, here in Claverack, I know that this world event has
changed me and so I sit here, grateful we grabbed the chance to have a
retreat and grateful we have New York to which we can be anchored. Right
now, I can not imagine another life, nor can I imagine going back to the life
I was living before.

This is the first year in seventeen in which I have not flown at least a
100,000 miles and as much I could not imagine not doing that then, I can no
longer imagine enjoying it again as I did when I was. It took a toll on me
and I feel like a recovering traveler. Hello, my name is Mathew and I am a

Working in television, the wild – and exhausting -- ride through the dot com
boom and bust, the years spent working with the Television Academy, all of it
are things I am grateful for because it helps me see perspective in this
moment, with the creek flowing by.

Yesterday, I woke feeling as if we had turned some small corner with all of
the events of the last two months, that we were to have some respite but as I
listened to the news while sipping my coffee and watching my creek flow by I
heard that an elderly lady had contracted inhalation anthrax in some remote
part of Connecticut.

My sense of peace slipped away and I breathed in, treasuring the moment I
have right now.

An age of innocence has passed for us and the somber reality of a turbulent
century beginning to unfold before us is in front of us. I do not know,
honestly, if I yearn for the time before. This feels more real, because we
are aware that it is all so temporary, it can go in an hour.

The sinking of the Titanic was such a moment in the collective consciousness.
The loss of the Twin Towers is another. The world will never be the same
and the decades that follow will echo with the images and the literature of
this disaster just as the last century echoed with the images and words that
followed the loss of the ship "that God himself couldn’t sink," a loss that
shattered the confidence of an entire society.

I finish writing this, knowing I am changed and working to understand and,
more importantly, enjoy the changes I am experiencing. Somehow I feel freed
– but I do not know exactly from what it is that I have been freed. In the
crossing of the Rubicon, I somehow found liberation. It is a current mystery
I will seek answers for in the unfolding tomorrows.