Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT August 26th 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session we close read the photograph “Street Scene, New York City” by Weegee (Arthur Fellig), posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Why did you stop to look?

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Monday August 30th at 6pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.

“Street Scene, New York City” by Weegee (Arthur Fellig)

9 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT August 26th 2021

  1. Why did I stop to look? ~~~

    It was a dark, ugly, rainy night. I was watching tv inside my apartment… another repeat of a “Law and Order” episode and I heard 2 quick, loud pops…gunfire or a backfire?
    I peered outside my window and thought I saw a body lying in the middle of the street.
    What had just happened in this usually quiet neighborhood? Without thinking, I grabbed my jacket and ran outside.

    There, lying on the pavement, was the body of an older man, devoid of life, surrounded by a pool of blood.
    Why on earth did I go out to look? It’s was a sight that is forever burned into my brain! I ran inside to dial a futile 911.

    Real-life can be brutal at times. I offered a prayer for this poor soul and hugged my dog extra tight that rainy night.


    • al3793

      “Why on earth did I go out to look?” the speaker asks. Perhaps the answer lies in the last sentence that reminds me that we have common humanity (poor souls) and the comfort that comes from connection, holding each other. It is interesting that your speaker and my speaker reside in “quiet neighborhoods.”


  2. Elizabeth

    Question: why did you stop to look?
    Answer: because I couldn’t help it.

    Question: why not?
    Answer: because it’s human nature and I’m a curious person.

    Question: what did you see?
    Answer: I am not sure — I’m confused.

    Question: why did you walk away?
    Answer: because I shouldn’t be there.

    Question: so why were you there?
    Answer: because I stopped to look.


    • al3793

      Elizabeth, A question for the speaker: “Why is it that you shouldn’t have been there?” This was a very curious text that prompted many questions in my mind and your response follows in that vein of curiosity and questioning. I remain confused but still questioning. Andre


  3. al3793

    I heard a woman’s shocking scream. From my balcony all I could see was an open window, an unusual sight on an early April night, especially at twenty past nine. Lights are usually out by then in our neighborhood. It’s a quiet place. So the light from that third floor open window casting a soft beam onto the street and the curtains swaying outwards were distinctly out of the ordinary. I saw neighbors moving quickly, not running, towards Fischman’s Grocery store. Jimmy was getting ready to close up. He had the garbage out early that night. The police were there posting barricades and waving traffic through as drivers craned their necks to see what the commotion was. By the time I got to the sidewalk such a crowd had gathered that I had to elbow my way past shoulders an hips, and then I saw it…


  4. Patricia D.

    Two scenes in India, 40+ years ago made me stop to look:

    A naked man, without a rag to hide his emaciated body, stood atop a dung heap without making a sound. Horns honked all around him.

    In the filthy streets of Calcutta, a dishevelled woman with knotted hair, draped in a torn sari looked too frail to be the mother of the infant she pleaded with me to take.

    I could not not look: I was shocked by the level of poverty and despair that the people around me simply ignored.


    • al3793

      Weegee’s disturbing image challenged this viewer to place an image of humanity where the manikin lay. I conjured some disturbing images but none captured the stark depths that your narrative describes. No wonder your speaker stopped to look but could not. None the less it didn’t keep the speaker from seeing!


      • Patricia D.

        and these vivid images that I saw impacted me so deeply that I never forget how many people lack what we take for granted. I consider myself to have been imprinted at the tender age of 20.


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