Something caught my mind yesterday while I was walking down the street. If you've never been to Manhattan, you might be surprised to find that sometimes, you see people walking down the street crying. I've seen it a number of times, and it always strikes a chord with me. Usually, when I feel the need to cry, I can pretty much only sit and cry. I can't imagine the force of sadness it would take for me to be able to cry and walk, let alone walk outside. I'm very very glad I can't, and I feel terrible that there are those who can.
I'm an amateur photographer
. I think that I will never be a professional photographer, because I am frequently unable to take a shot of someone sad. When I see someone sad, I often feel like it would be a terrible invasion for me to capture that moment, even though I see in my head the amazing picture it would make. Click.
After the first tower collapsed, I stood for a time in the lobby of my building, 8 blocks south, unsure of whether I should leave. An old man walked in from the dust cloud, covered from head to toe in grey. He wiped off his glasses, sat down on the bench in the lobby, took a comb out of his pocket, and struggled to comb his hair, encrusted and sticky.
There it was, the Pulitzer Prize Photo, staring me in the face.
I had my camera in my hand.
I couldn't do it. I wouldn't do it over.