It is hard to tell which has been longer, the day or the week. Or if time passes or just keeps welling up and pouring over you. I realized the blue and yellow weather is because we're in Elul. A lover's colors, could you see her sprite on virgin memory. If time passes or no, the rift between a week ago and now is limitless. And if the world adopts a phase of ordinary, it is only because you've forgotten it. You'd expect the terror if it weren't for that.
That grabs you by the throat and makes you panic.
That smashes the memorial of yesterdays autumn breezes like marble, concrete, steel, bone
That makes you want to flee,
From the ominous portent of weather-to where?-like God's gnashing teeth. Inescapable.
I spent some hours today thoroughly convinced we would be annihilated in nuclear explosions within the week. Outside: two.
Not that, having regained some composure, I believe it's much more than a sissy bet.
Because it is possible, somehow, for corporate lawyers to discuss the disaster in terms of depositions postponed and hours' delays in transit without a moment's silence for the dead, because the city has managed to divide this small island so perfectly that somehow midtown offices don't get it. And the testament of municipal success is this profanity.
Conversely, it is possible to see the good in that.
I looked over the Post, a tabloid on whose first and fourth pages were columns police and firemen, the names of the known missing or dead.
--We are in a war with 5,000 casualties, and not one soldier fallen-
There was a crowd of well over 1,000 at Rosh Hashanah services this evening. At one point, the rabbi asked those who knew any missing or known dead to stand, if they wished, and say their names so that we might include them in our prayers. And they stood. One and another and another... And not all of them stopped with one name. But spoke two. Or three.
Flyers with pictures of the missing everywhere. Shrines with candles, flowers, writings erected at the base of light stanchions. Union Square is a carpet of flowersm flickering lights and common purpose. It is overwhelming, and it is easy to imagine this receding into an unrecoverable, distant past, and quickly, if the conflict escalates.
I awoke this morning at around 4:00. It was pointless to try to sleep, so I had some coffee, hit the keyboard and listened to the news. [Funny, I just wrote "noise" without realizing it.] The caster said Giulianni would be having his regular 8:00 staff meeting at City Hall. I decided I'd go down (it's not far from where I live) and join the well-wishers.
It was the first time I'd been below Canal Street since the disaster; only the area east of Broadway is accessible, and only to pedestrian traffic. The traders' grim determination in quality suits another manifestation of living imperative.
I saw one broken globe on a streetlight, but otherwise, the place is *clean. The streets around Foley Square, where the Courts are, were still wet from their last hosing. It was a gala, really.
Except for a photographer working for the AP, when I arrived at the guardhouse in front of City Hall, I was the only one there but City Hall officials. Someone told someone else they had to move the car because the mayor was coming. A clean grey minivan pulled up, and a man in matching suit and clambered out. I wasn't sure it was him, at first, but when I was, I applauded him. What is the sound of two hands clapping? He didn't know I was there, at first, then you I could see him hear me (please see Empathy thread) and her turned and smiled and gave me a thumbs up.
I gave him my best British stiff-upper lip grimace, and gave it to him back.