This summer, Andre and I paid a visit to the 9/11 Memorial, to see the scars in the earth paved over, sculpted into something solemnly beautiful. I was grateful to see how the footprints of those massive towers had been respected, how the twin fountains manage to convey loss, immensity, mystery, and reverence for the many whose lives were taken that day.
The urge to turn pain and disaster into art is deeply human and, I think, necessary. We want to make some kind of sense out of the senseless. To come to terms. But that act of paving over, puts us at a remove from the thing itself. The monument or photograph or poem can't help but obscure the event it commemorates, at least a little bit. Maybe that's a blessing. Or maybe it's a curse--the curse of distance. Of time. Of moving on.