Let The Great World Spin – Colum McCann

1974, downtown Manhattan, New York, while in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the busy city during the morning commute something is happening.

As the sights, the smells and the bravado which makes Manhattan, comes to a screeching halt as one by one people notice something, someone possibly making their way between the World Trade Towers.

New York, where you see one of a kind things everyday.  While all of this is happening, there is a group of people who have never met, where in time , all of their lives will intersect and intertwine with one as never before.

An Irish Monk, his brother, a group of prostitutes.  A mother meeting other Mothers who have lost their sons that have died in Vietnam during the war.  Tilly, her daughter (see group of prostitutes) who turn tricks standing next to one another, along with a few more characters.

At first, these lives are just as separate as the lives of anyone else in the city; but with McCann’s artistry, the desperation for good or bad, weave this story perfectly like a tailor sews a line between 2 pieces of fabric, joining them together making it look like only one piece.

For me, the tightrope walker was an ever evolving metaphor of sorts, of being that we are all walking that tightrope on a daily basis in our own lives – personal and professional.  We may never know what will happen or when, but the past generations have taught us to conquer and move forward.

Behind you will be a life, that you never want to see again.

It never occured to me before, but everything in New York is built upon another thing, nothing is entirely by itself, each thing as strange as the last, and connected.


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