The subtlest change in New York is something people don't speak much about but that is in everyone's mind. The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly turn end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now: in the sound of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest edition.
That was written in 1948. Of course it made me think of September 11th, 2001, seven years ago yesterday. The same, only more so, and hardly subtle in the changing (and something everybody talked about). But I was really struck by the passage. (Meant to post this yesterday, but forgot.)
Certainly shows something about the cycling of history. Are those cycles just giving us more and more extreme versions of the same old story? This would be the Oscilloscope of History theory, I suppose -- not, "The more things change, the more they stay the same," but "The more things change, the faster and louder they get."
But really, was there ever a slow time of quiet, a time of calm and peace? And can we ever turn down the frequency, decrease the amplitude enough to return to such a state? For the sake of BJ and BB, I certainly hope so.