Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Last weekend, my brother came to visit, and we did all those things you do when family comes to town, and that you never, ever do otherwise.  We walked through Times Square, we took pictures with Cookie Monster on the street, we peered up at the Empire State building.

And we went to the World Trade Center Memorial.  That's just one of those things that I know I would never have done otherwise.  I knew about how you have to  print out or go get a ticket, and while I can completely understand the practicalities of that, it seemed to me that a time slot for grief and remembrance is, to put it mildly, a little inappropriate (and anyway I forgot that I knew that, and we ended up chasing up and down and around trying to figure things out).  Equally depressing were the hundred ticket checkpoints and security screenings--though again, extremely practical and realistic.

But between all of the above and my general dislike for focusing on things that are sad, not to mention Willow's crazypants, overtired from the moment she woke up, deeply unpleasant self that day, I didn't really expect to get much out of the Memorial, and was just going for my brother's sake.

I was surprised to be wrong.  

Somehow, I hadn't realized the sheer size of the reflecting pools, and even looking at it, it took me an an incredibly long time to grasp it.  It really is a very thoughtful and respectful design--it's not over the top or maudlin, but the water falling, everything falling down into an empty space, almost negative space is difficult and certainly powerful--but also peaceful.

 One day, perhaps, there won't be any tickets, or lines, or even any security screenings, and it will become just another place New Yorkers go to sit outside and eat lunch and read a book.  And while right now it's a little difficult to imagine how something this vast, both literally and metaphorically could ever just blend in, part of me thinks that maybe that's the way it should be.  That the way to move forward is to keep living as we ever have.

Or something like it, anyway.

1 comment:

Gina Zahn said...

I love reading your blog...this post was great. thank you.