Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I've only been to New York a handful of times. Once was in the mid '80s, my sister worked in the city and lived in New Jersey. We visited and went to see the unveiling of the newly renovated Statue of Liberty and the fireworks show there on July 4th. 1986, maybe?
Anyway, walking through Manhattan she showed me the place where she used to work. I walked up to the building, touched my feet to it, looked straight up and snapped a picture.
The photograph is not good. Cheap camera, cheap film, poor conditions, poor composition and careless storage of the only print for decades (negative lost). It is unremarkable in every way, except the One.
Off and on, from September 2001 until about a year ago, I remembered and looked for that photograph. Boxes and boxes of crap in a damp basement. Many times I declared it lost, only to renew my search a few months later. Then I found it, tucked into the fold of a cardboard box filled with pictures from college and other unimportant stuff. I decided not to get it restored or scanned or improved in any way, but rather to frame the snapshot as is, my closest connection to the towers I'll never forget. Because even just for a moment, a moment that passed and was almost immediately forgotten for so long, I was there.
There is sobbing of the strong,
And a pall upon the land;
But the People in their weeping
Bare the iron hand:
Beware the People weeping
When they bare the iron hand.
-- Herman Melville, on the death of Abraham Lincoln