Ground Zero – Noticing Time, Glass – When Did it Happen?


As followers of this blog may know, I walk by the old World Trade Center Site – Ground Zero–close to ten times a week. I confess to not paying much attention to it though. The site/sight is still painful to me–I am uncomfortable both with its blankness (which brings up loss) and its busyness (which seems somehow heedless of loss.)

I am uncomfortable too with all the commotion, Although I make an effort to help tourists in most parts of New York City (the subway especially), I tend to avoid them down here because of those same internal conflicts: when the tourists seem overawed, I want to tell them–look–people are bombed somewhere in the world every single day. When they seem flippant–posing and checking out all the horrible postcards–I want to shout at them–show some respect! Don’t you realize what a big deal this was?

But I also have plenty of other distractions: there’s the darting in front of traffic; the trying to pre-empt the walk signs.

Then, of course, there are my digital devices–the checking of email as I walk, the balancing of the phone while I talk, the relatively recent activity of messing around with the headset that is belatedly supposed to protect me from brain cancer.

Lastly, there is an extremely sore right knee.

These all keep my attention at ground level. (And there, I am quite observant–even to the point of being the only person on the block to see a r-a-t the other dusk.)

But this morning, lo and behold, I looked up.

There are actual buildings on the site right now, not just taking shape, but being sheathed. In glass. With metal striations. The Path train station and the Freedom Tower, which for the past several years were only images on posters the tourists photographed now have too many stories to count.

Time has marched on.

It shook me up on several levels.

First, I’m sorry, but new buildings feel a bit like new targets. (Worrisome.)

And then there’s that business of time again

Is that why my knee is bothering so much. Time? And marching?

I stopped to take the photograph above so that I could at least distract myself with, you know, a digital device.

And feel for a moment, almost, like a tourist.

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2 Comments on “Ground Zero – Noticing Time, Glass – When Did it Happen?”

  1. Christina Says:

    Wow. I hadn’t realized it had gotten so close to completion. I guess I have been gone a long time.

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