Editor’s Note: The essay below was written in 2001 and appears in the self-published book, Through Our Eyes: A Tapestry of Words and Images in Response to September 11. Printed and distributed in 2002, the book was the result of an independent, volunteer documentary project organized by a journalist and several friends. The author’s bio was written in 2002 and has not been updated.
Meet Ryan Laurita, a hip and imaginative photographer who really knows how to boogie. Ryan was born in South Bend, Indiana, 24 years ago. After living in Atlanta, Georgia, for a year or so, Ryan recently moved to Littleton, Colorado, to be near his siblings and to indulge in one of his favorite hobbies, snowboarding. He also likes traveling and fondly reflects on one jaunt in particular: a wild trip to Ireland. Ryan currently works at Spike’s Sports Collectables and hopes to soon open a studio. He’s agnostic. On Sept. 11, Ryan was at work in Atlanta. He wrote his essay Sept. 20.
The moment I hear tragedy I become interested. Interested in the reasoning, the cause, the affected, and the most beautiful thing that everyone endures … a flux. Flux feels so great to just roll off your tongue. But it is the very thing that describes our enveloped lives. We all stand together on this layer of earth, this rock of ever last. We make our own choices, unless we believe that something is more important.
I really don’t understand a lot of the reasoning that people compound their lives with. I give everyone the freedom of choice in my mind. They can have their religion, their children, their reasoning. But why do we misunderstand our reasoning? This flux.
I think it’s sad.
We can’t get past our accumulation of experience; this is the very thing that makes us hungry for more experience. Our lives. Our lives (in most minds) are the most important thing to all of us. Face it, it is ego.
I am an artist currently living in Denver, Colorado, with a lot of choices, a lot of ambition, a lot of love for my family, my friends, my natural idea, and an immortal thought that all of this tragedy we experience will somehow vanish. I think it would be safe to speak for all when I say this: We all have immortal thoughts but face tragedy; it will always be here. In most cases we bring this to our own table, and part of us dies within. I believe that this builds your flux, your experience as an entity to my world for my own experience.
The basis of my work is to understand, interpret, and deliver experience to others. I wouldn’t be able to do so if I didn’t have my own life to reflect on, but most important your lives to address. This is beauty … this is flux. When you see an opportunity to change someone’s day, make a week out of it. When you experience being part of someone’s life, don’t be happy, sad, or whatever you want to be, just be.
I am upset. I also think the President of the U.S. is doing very well with this situation. I am sure this occurrence really hurt you in some way. If it hasn’t hit you yet, it will be well documented for you to reflect on. Then it will hit you.