Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 2007

September 11, 2001 was the last day I felt that I lived in an invincible city in an indomitable country. While I did not lose any friends or family that day, I lost-along with millions of other people-my innocence.

There is a lot of talk this year about "Moving On." At 4:30 today I will be filming the Japanese version of Good Morning America, and the producer said to me how anxious they were to show that Americans have rallied and put 9/11 behind them, and to talk about how Positive Things have come as a result of the events of that day. It's a New Day. It's a New Dawn. And I'm Feeeeeling.....well, frankly, I don't feel like "Moving On."

Let me just preface this blog by saying that I am one of those people who feels guilty because Really Wonderful Things have happenned to me as a result of September 11th. You can read about the memorial we created at www.tilesforamerica.com or Google TILES FOR AMERICA and find out more. It's easy enought to feel guilty about the press and attention the project has garnered. And then there is the fact that the project has made me some very, very dear friends and continues on a weekly basis to allow me to have contact with individuals who work on 9/11 projects of their own-photographers, bloggers, poets and artists. For me the irony is that in the wake of seeing the worst of mankind, I have been able to meet and know some of the best people this planet has to offer.

But I don't get all this talk about "Moving On." Where is it exactly we are suppossed to be going?

The events of 9/11, for many of us, moved and effected and changed us in so many ways that there is no way to "MOVE ON, MOVE PAST" any more than we could outrun our own shadows. It's not something we will ever "put behind us" because we allowed it to enter into us-become a part of who we are. Many of us decided on that day to be, forever, witnesses.

Tiles For America has been an interesting project because it has explored this whole "desire to get past this" mentality in a very tangible way. The tiles we received in the wake of 9/11 were made for catharsis--they were full of emotion and passion and often palpable sadness. Just last week I received a box of tiles from a High School in California that worked on the project in their history class. One of the tiles read "Go 49ers." I mention it as an example of how the project has changed over the past six years.

And so what I like best about the project is the way it can unexpectedly slap a person who has "MOVED ON" across their face. I love the unsuspecting tourists who come to the Village to do a bit of shopping, who stumble upon the fence and are drawn in by the raw emotions that are still on display. I love that it shakes them, moves them, makes them remember--because that is what loss itself does. It creeps up on you on sunny days and hits you unexpectedly and you can never ever really Move On, because you carry it with you always.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones who lost people today in the events of 9/11 six years ago, and with the families of loved ones who continue to give their lives in the events that have followed.

(The picture above was sent to me by Carly-whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting, but who took the time to write about how T4A effected her. Thanks Carly!)

1 comment:

Peedles said...

I was proud to be part of T4A and I have more than a few memories of it.... people stopping, looking and quietly crying... people yelling at us as "warmongers" (wtf???).. the little boy who asked his grandmother for a tissue to clean some of the tiles that had gotten dirty... the people who didnt look at all and just walked by, deep in cell conversation. Thanks for allowing us to be part of something so special.