September 11 2001


 

I got to work early today. It was about 9:00 when a colleague interrupted me: "there was an explosion in the Twin Towers" We ran to a south-facing office. The view was awful — both of the Towers were engulfed in smoke.

Out on the street, traffic wasn't moving and ambulance sirens were everywhere. I didn't know where to go and needed to escape the noise. So I made my way to Central Park, stopping a few times to listen to car radios that were being played loud for the public to hear first one Tower collapsed and then the other. The attack occurred at about 9:00am on a weekday morning. The Twin Towers have over 100 floors of offices! Thousands must be dead, I thought.

All of midtown's working people seemed to be in Central Park. A beautiful day, beautiful people. But people were dressed for work and no one was laughing. And still the sounds of sirens came from everywhere. I tried calling people from my cell phone but it was nearly impossible to get a connection. After sitting for a while I finally I started heading back downtown.

All the city's businesses were closing. There were almost no cars on the street now, and millions of pedestrians. The subways were not running. There was very little transportation to get outside of Manhattan. I saw triage stations set up in front of hospitals. I saw appeals to donate blood. I saw police cramming pedestrians into private vehicles in order to cross the tunnel into Queens. I saw smoke rising up out of downtown where the Twin Towers used to be. I stopped in a house of prayer to escape these sights, but I just couldn't escape the sounds.

It is night. The city seems sick. Nauseous. People aren't wild and they aren't grieving. They are stunned. This event is so incredibly large that I don't think we can really comprehend it. Smoke fills the sky above the wreckage. Tomorrow there will be more news. And numbers.

     

September 25 2001

 

It's two weeks since the Twin Towers collapsed. Smoke still fills the downtown sky. There is wreckage at the site that is expected to take six months to clear out. Everyone is talking about what has happened and what will happen next. Parks and public buildings are covered with photographs of "missing" people and are surrounded by the people who miss them. Fortunately miraculously none of my friends or family were lost or injured they are all fine and their friends and family are also fine. Still, we are deeply troubled. The size of the incident is large beyond belief; the cost in human lives was astronomical. It was so close to home. So many of us saw this happen from our apartment or office windows. It is not a scene that we can forget. But survivors have already gone back to work, we are starting to dine, to shop... Life will go on.

     
   


I've been working with some cousins on an "art from the heart" website whose aim is to help deal with the 9-11 and the ensuing change in our lives. Feel free to visit that site.