What is a memory? What is a memorial?
A memorial is something to preserver a memory – but of what?
The image on the left is the prophetic shot of Don DeLillo’s great novel, Underworld. Published in 1997, the Underworld was immediately recognized as one of the best American novels ever written – in fact, recently, viewed in the top 5. Post 9/11 readers by the droves were drawn, first, to the ominous cover, second, to the narrative’s harrowing picture of American culture, the world, and where we might find some semblance of hope – or not. Somewhere between our waste and commodification, we struggle for hope, for a better future. Peace, as DeLillo ends his novel.
The image on the right was just captured by my son, Carlos, a professional photographer living in Brooklyn, NY. In many ways, Carlos’ image is also a memorial – to the days of DeLillo picture, to the harrowing events of 9/11, and to our current malaise and sense of hope and vulnerability.
Carlos’ image is very much a vulnerable one: will we experience 9/11 again? Given the conditions in our world, are we, like this image, in a fog we can’t get out of? Is this a memorial to a time we’ll never get back, yet we hope for something more?