Tuesday, September 11, 2007


As we moved along the Jersey side of the Hudson River towards the George Washington Bridge, I became disoriented. Although, I had only visited New York City once, it always had a sense of familiarity. A collective knowing shared by a billion souls who had seen countless images both moving and still.

Harlem in the north. The Empire State Building somewhere in the middle. And then there it was. In the core of my brain, I could still distinguish north and south but without the most familiar landmark denoting the southern end of Manhattan, I was suddenly dizzy. Lost. As if direction no longer had meaning.

We crossed the GW and a left turn on 125th restored my sense of location. Now, riding hidden, deep in the man-made canyons which criss cross the island, I drew comfort from the embracing closeness of the tall buildings surrounding the grids of streets. Avenues run north and south. Streets run east and west. And people moved on them all. With the casualness of tourists and the determined focus of the residents.

The fleeting feelings of dislocation may never leave the deeper conscience but the wakened mind recovers. It chooses to find stability in the faces of those who continue and eventually it may even find solace when viewing the scarred face of their city.


Open+Transparent said...

Well written. I lost a friend that day in the first tower. Had three other buddies in the second tower who got out.

Jumped in my truck, and was in Manhattan by Tuesday. Will never forget the smell of jet fuel permeating the air, or the pieces of paper flying around even five days later.

So many people rose to the occassion up there...the worst of humanity resulted in the best of humanity.

Open+Transparent said...

was in Manhattan by Wednesday night

Button Gwinnett said...

I like what you do anyway. But I really enjoy it when you are moved to write such things. It's been 6 years now but doesn't feel that way. It's still so surreal.