11. September 2008 · Comments Off on Seven Years · Categories: Ain't That America?, General, GWOT, History, World

Supposedly, seven years is the time it takes for a human body’s cells to regenerate, to have new cells completely replace the old cells. I don’t know that factoid is true, strictly speaking, or if it just applies to the skin. It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that it’s not true at all, but is just one of those curiosities which seems right, if somewhat startling at first thought.

Seven years; long enough for the scar tissue to grow over, for the breaks in the solid rock underpinning our universe to calcify, to heal over – and for us to become accustomed to living in a world without the silhouette of a pair of silver towers gleaming in the sunshine of a cool September morning. Long enough to become used to the absence, and accustomed to the wrenching changes, to acclimate ourselves to a new reality. But not long enough to become used to the absence, to the space in a life where a husband, a wife, a son or daughter, or a friend used to be. Never long enough to forget the sight of a tall building – first one and then the other – falling into itself, dissolving into a dark blizzard-cloud of smoke and debris, and taking the lives of thousands of people with it. No, never forget that; it’s the vision I see now, whenever I listen to Mozarts’ Requiem.

Seven years of change since that morning, the morning when our world shuddered and for many of us, wrenched itself onto a new track. The changes have come so thick and fast, that the glorious September morning now and again seems to have happened a couple of decades ago. Two wars, one which seems now to be perilously won and the other still in balance, two presidential elections, the rise of a new media, the slow implosion of the old – the aftermath of a violent hurricane devastating the Louisiana-Mississippi Gulf Coast, (and another one which at this very moment seems destined to hit the Texas coast like a pile-driver) and any number of other events which strutted and fretted for their moment on the national and international stage; all of this moved the events of one day, the day of 9-11-01 away from a current event and into the pages of history.

But for today, and just for today, we set down the burdens of today for a moment, and remember.

(The letter that I wrote about that day is here, in the old MT archive)

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