ON THAT DAY
i recall vividly the moment i heard about the crash. 08:10 – it was a wednesday morning – we were driving under a bridge, on the perimeter highway – lupin driving me home after a 12 hour nite shift (my 2nd nite – my 2nd 12 hr shift in as many days). i did not sleep that day. we stared at the telly screen, dumbfounded. a colleague at work worried that his mother – who lived and worked in NYC – did not survive the crash. he had no news of his mother for a few days. each of those days we worked together, the anguish swirled in him. things turned out ok for that family … but i remember the anguish of those early days.
ABOUT THAT DAY
for me, the anguish of that day swells, with each passing year. with each passing year, life tumbles past us, the way leaves glide upon gentle breezes. and moments pass. moments from which death has banished those dearly departed. they say time heals all wounds, but with time, the wound gapes ever wider.it feels as though, i think, with each year that passes, the dearly departed shrink further and further from our grasp. from our mind’s grasp.
when do we forget the sound of their voice? the way touching them made us feel? when do their images start to fade in our minds? and … we ask the question … why? for eternity — WHY? each joyful moment, forever after, has a bittersweet taste. can joy without our dearly departed truly feel like joy? or does it feel plastic and contrived? like, sort of surreal. for us – survivors left behind – a tomorrow exists. can we live with that?
AFTER THAT DAY
stunning photographs captured horrorific moments – remember these?
and the OUTRAGE
and … how soon, we never saw them anymore? well … LOOK. take a good LOOK.
do you ever ask yourself, why? why the desperate urge to sanitize these deaths? considering the extremely graphic and disturbing images seen at the liberation of the concetration camps after WW2, why did these pictures trigger such outrage? 11/9 IS. irrevocably. do we want to remember it? or are we going to have dinner with that big white elephant on the dining room table? i, for one, don’t care to dine with the big white elephant. been there, done that. i choose to live in brutal reality. death = life. the value of life lies in the eternity of death. (does that sound sort of too surreal, maybe?)
i had the wonderful privilege of seeing the north american premiere of this movie: the falling man. it traces the origin of the photo, from the photographer thru to the journalists who sought to identify the ‘falling man.’ but, more interesting that this, the movie speaks to the whole denial of death, despite the massive loss of life on 11/9.
its true – for the most part, we only wanted to see images of the rescue workers sifting thru the rubble. we desperately wanted to turn our heads away from the terror and ugliness and such a death. why? are not those who made a choice and resolved to plummet to their death … are not those people victims just the same as those who did not make that choice? do we honour their memory by denying the way they died? i think not.
i ask myself. what would i do? what would you do? would you make a phone call? who would you call? what would you say? what would course thru my mind moments before such a horrific death? we cannot begin to imagine having to make such a choice. death by fire or death by sudden deceleration? no escape. only escape to death. so — what of the falling man photo? when i look at it, i am stunned by the stark contrasts that converge there: the bright sun and a solitary, free falling figure, almost perfectly aligned with the vertical axis of the tower. and then reality – a person, falling to his death. and death, DEATH.
that feeling you have? that uncomfortable feeling?
its called humility
… because …
death is a most humbling experience.
what do you see in the falling man photo?
what do you see, in all this?