Haven't posted on here in a while - haven't had time to do as much shooting as I'd like, what with the holidays, two little kids running me ragged, and the colder weather (I'm not a big fan of the cold, and it suppresses my camera un-holstering instinct). My job in advertising has been crazy as well, but something happened today that put all of these inconveniences in perspective.
I arrived at our office in midtown Manhattan, NYC around 10am, and was met with some chaos in our vaulted, art deco lobby. It appeared that one of the elevators in the 1929 building had run amuck there was some debris scattered on the floor, and our security staff seemed a bit frantic - but I didn't pay it much mind as I took the opposite elevator bank up to my office on the 13th Floor. Yes, the 13th Floor, which simply doesn't exist in many high rises - they often skip those digits when numbering the floors - bad luck, you know.
Once in my office, I heard the sirens. Lots of them. Looking out the window, I watched as an FDNY engine came barrelling south on Madison Avenue - the wrong way and against traffic. A taxi veered to the left and hit a light pole in its efforts to get out of the way. Soon it was apparent, watching an FDNY feed on Twitter, that things were a bit more serious than I had first expected. I leaned out my window, as far as I dared (not a big fan of heights), and blindly snapped a photograph of our now cordoned off block, now swelling with first responders.
We soon learned the horrific truth. One of our colleagues, Suzanne, had been killed while stepping onto that elevator. I didn't know Suzanne well, but had worked with her on occasion and found her to be a kind, gregarious woman who was an asset to any project she was working on.
Suzanne had come to work this morning like many of us - probably nagged by some of the same stresses and inconveniences we all face. Perhaps dreading an upcoming meeting, or worried about getting her holiday shopping done, or any one of the million little speed bumps in life that we tend to fret and build up in our minds as more than they are. And just like that, those concerns were gone. And so was she. Forever.
Embrace life, a day at a time. Savor the moment. Don't fear tomorrow, don't dwell on the past. :Those are the lessons I learned today, from 13 floors above the din of the city. Tonight, my thoughts are with Suzanne and her family. And, more than ever, with my own.