15 years after the World Trade Center attack I decided it was time to reconcile with the agnst. I live ten blocks from the site, but had never really returned. You'd see all the tourists in the neighborhood. They'd ask for directions. But, I didn't follow them down there to gawk, to remember.
I remember all too clearly. The twin towers arching to touch the sky high above you – skyscrapers – because that's what they were. They created clouds from thin air. I remember too her windy, cold, featureless plaza with a world at the center yet not a tree in sight. And I remember a secluded nook overlooking the highway, where I'd once huddled crying as my marriage began to dissolve. I lived with these monoliths as a constant presence for almost two decades.
And, I watched them crumble and fall. The first from Reade St., the second from Worth over by City Hall. I remember the sound of the first building popping like a balloon, before dissolving in a headlong rush to the earth - each collapse followed by a cloud wall of pulverized dust hundreds of feet high that covered us all. I remember Guliani and his scrum hurrying towards the command center through a halo of glimmering cristaline particles. I remember vast crowds on the bridges, thousands upon thousands of people trudging homeward on foot.
For a long time, living in the shadow of this collapse was living in another world. It was a disaster zone. But even after the burning stopped and the heros went home, it didn't stop. They clawed at the pit and its contents just down the street seemingly forever. Years later we were still looking down into that broken hole. You could see it from the escalator up to the movie theater where we went to escape into flights of fantasy.
I didn't feel like returning. But after 15 years I figured I should. Somehow...
This series is how I make sense of that part of those many years. The images may seem disjointed. They are. It's not a story, more like a string of impressions and thoughts tumbling after each other. It's what I recall of these long winter years waiting for healing down here.
They did a beautiful job rebuilding the site.
It's not what I remember though.
Slide show: Reconciling 9.11 – A Photographic Essay