I left the apartment for my walk this morning at 5:49 … two minutes after that fateful moment in time eight years ago when a jet plane met its final destination in the World Trade Center, three hours by time zone to the east. A moment of silence for the thousands who died in that fateful event, and for all the others whose lives have been irrevocably changed by what ensued in its name. Nine-Eleven Oh Nine. 

It seems something almost distant to me now, unreal; something out of a bad thriller that I might have read, put down, then forgotten. 

Sometimes the monsters are real.

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I was thinking about a podcast I’d listened to regarding the qualities of story in photo books, or rather the lack of it. We’ve all heard fiction authors talk about how the characters created for a story come to life and guide the author in the development of the very work in which they are a part. So I was thinking about how, indeed, we can make the visual language of photographs do that kind of “reality creation” … whether it is possible to do so entirely without words or whether words were actually essential to the task. 

Which brought me further into one of the bases of conflict in the photography world … the relationship between documentarian and art photography, between how much to manipulate versus how authentic, credible, true to life a photograph must be to be considered a photograph. By some anyway. 

The razor’s edge of veracity. Storytellers wander in the relationship to truth proffered by their stories, even casual storytelling amongst friends is rarely entirely accurate in the scenes it depicts. It’s all about mood, impression, an enjoyable turn of phrase, a depiction in the imagination about larger things than the events themselves – not whether forensics would find fault. 

This door and the ominous sign beside it popped up as I was thinking of this, of the 9-11 anniversary, and of all that has happened since. Somehow it resonated in my head. A door, a caution … bright and harsh. What story can it begin?

Maybe I should take up poetry.
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