Seven. Now there’s a number filled with symbolic meaning. God created the universe in seven days, there are seven deadly sins, seven virtues, seven sacraments. There’s the “seventh heaven,” as well as seven hells and seven days of the week. Seven seas and seven musical notes. Seven branches on a Menorah, and the book of Revelations speaks of seven seals, seven vials, seven trumpets, seven angels.
One of those seals or vials was perhaps opened seven years ago today. So where are we now?
Wherever it is, I’m pretty sure it’s the wrong place to be. Instead of a serious place, we’re in a place where a guy worrying over the deeper meanings of the phrase “put lipstick on a pig” can be in a virtual tie in polling for who should be our next President. It’s a place where Ground Zero is still a big hole in the ground.
Seven years ago today, if I hadn’t been 15 minutes behind schedule I would have been in the debris field. I was in Hoboken, just off the train and heading to the ferry. My first stop was going to be the downtown farmers’ market, which took place every Tuesday at the foot of the south tower. Instead I got to watch it unfold from the edge of the water just across the Hudson. That is to say, I did not watch it on TV.
We were locked out of our offices for over a week, and when I came back there were burned pieces of paper on the ledge outside my window. Of course a lot of people made out worse than I did that day, and even more people came closer than I did to real danger. Nevertheless, I came close enough so that I feel I have the authority to say, I have no patience for what’s going on right now.