April 20, 2020

A Reflection on Trauma, Coronavirus, and 9/11

A Reflection on Trauma, Coronavirus, and 9/11

I never thought I’d see or have to deal with a cultural trauma as profound as 9/11, but the coronavirus has proved me wrong. And I say that as a citizen, a psychologist, and as a former New Yorker, with family and so many friends there.

I haven’t found much imagery that links the two, but I’ve been thinking about the connections, and I feel David’s photo goes there. There is the enveloping darkness. The downcast posture and eyes. The bare trees. (I’ve heard so many references the last few weeks to T.S. Eliot’s “April is the cruelest month.”) And then there’s the Freedom Tower, shimmering like, well…the World Trade Center’s replacement.

One thing we know about traumas and losses is that they always stir older ones. And when that happens, events that have faded, that have healed or settled, are often right there again–just behind you.

-Michael Shaw⠀

Photo: David Butow Caption: April 18, 2020.

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Michael Shaw
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