On September 12, 2001 I awoke a few hours after midnight.. Someone was yelling "Building fall down! Building fall down!" We had arrived in Saigon, the night before. On the tiny television mounted near the ceiling in the lobby of the little hotel, we watched the Twin Towers fall to the ground over and over and over.
Eventually I walked outside into the cacophony of Saigon. The street was a madhouse. I was on the other side of the world. Here, in this city, once devastated by what they called "the American war", life surged with a vengeance.
We were unable to return to the States till the no fly ban was lifted. When we came back I went to ground zero. I had worked in 1 Bankers Trust when I was 20, the building right across the street from the World Trade Center.
The devastation was gargantuan, otherworldly . It looked like the day after a nuclear disaster ended the world. Enormous steel spikes, mangled pieces of the Tower's honeycombed facade, lurched upward, piercing huge chunks of former skyscrapers. Pieces of buildings were strewn about, as was endless rubble, dust, total chaos and a gaping, open pit.
I happened to be in New York City today. It's fourteen years after the devastation now. I wandered around Chelsea going to galleries. I saw an enormous amount of art, good, bad and otherwise. I marveled at the stunning building at the corner of 11th Avenue and 19th St, that Frank Gehry designed for Barry Diller. An extraordinary melange of modernist buildings have emerged in this neighborhood. It's been many years now since things have returned to normal.
The life force predates humanity. The life force cannot be snuffed out. Whatever evil men do to one another, given time, light triumphs over darkness.