…seem pointless, yet so necessary. I am not sure why I feel the need to explain why the events of last Tuesday affected me so deeply but, along with millions of others, it seems to be something that I need to put down in words.
And yet. And yet my experiences and emotions are so insignificant.
It was only last December that I was in New York – the third time that I had visited. I remember it as a strange time, I was travelling home after two years in Australia, and had a free weekend in New York included with the flight. I didn’t really want to be there. I wanted to be home. I remember thinking how little I liked the city when I first arrived but how spellbound I was by the time I left. New York is a strange place like that.
All the times that I have visited, I have been down to the World Trade Centre each and every time. The buildings are so large, so dominant, that they feature in my thoughts whenever I think of New York. But each time I got to the buildings, I never wanted to go to the top. It always seemed like too much effort, and besides, I had been up the Empire State Building, and the attraction of the World Trade Center towers was seeing them, not seeing from them.
Despite not entering the buildings, just being near them still sticks in the mind. I have an affinity for tall buildings, working in the CN Tower in Toronto, working near the TransAmerica pyramid in San Francisco and the Hitchcock tower in Chicago (tall buildings and bridges – I can’t get enough!). So the size and imposition of the two towers on the surroundins was something that I have always admired.
And now they are gone.
I think that I keep fixating on the buildings to stop me thinking of the human tragedy that unfolded on Tuesday. I think, but make myself stop. The tv and newspapers have been saturated since the event, and it is the pictures that are the worst part. Pictures of people, in the building, on the ground, firefighters, bystanders, jumpers. It is all so horrific, so I focus on the buildings.
Or rather, I focus on the holes that are now there. On Thursday, I got my photo album out, and sure enough, there are pictures of the Statue of Liberty, and the skyline behind. They look … gorgeous, but you can’t take a bad picture of the New York skyline, and those towers were a huge part of that.
You see, the effect on me is insignificant. Tiny. Infintesimally small. But if I focus on that, it makes it easier…