11 September 2006

Falling and fire

What must it be like, in the last moments of a relatively normal life, to have to choose how you will die? There must me a moment of stupefying horror at the realization that your remaining choices aren't anything as mundane as tall or grande, but whether you will stay and burn or jump. I can't imagine what people went through making this choice 5 years ago today. But I do hope, for one of them, that the choice wasn't just over this way of death or that one. Maybe there was someone that decided, for 10 seconds of a life cut too short, to take control of a chaotic day and chose to fly for the experience of it - a last chance to hold and have life, however briefly, rather than have it turned to ashes. The photos and images of the jumpers are what stay with me from that day; the inferno and collapse are too much at times to encompass, but the righteous humanity evident in taking charge of those last moments is something I mourn. Peace to them all and their families.

Thanks to Mike Faurote for sharing the fallen leaf image on Flickr.