It is interesting to see how the rhythms of life are beginning
to find a
shape in this new year and in the fourth month since the 9/11
attacks. As I mentioned last week, I realized that almost
all the news seems to come away from that moment, to be connected
with it. It was the stone thrown into the lake and the waves
are a long way from subsiding.
Today I was organizing some meetings in New York for a client.
One of the
participants was to have flown in from the West Coast. She
can't. She can not get on a plane.
Tripp tells me he sees no reason to get on a plane, not at
least this year.
My solace is perhaps his love for London will eventually dictate
meaning I can have a transatlantic crossing, something I have
What happened was not just a pebble in the pond; it was a
into the planet of our existence.
Each day we are moving on, we are going on. We continue to
live lives, do
business deals, move around but it is just not the same. Amtrak
between New York and D.C. because there are many people, myself
do not want to fly that particular corridor. There are people,
and the friend from the West Coast, who don't want to get
on planes at all.
But our lives keep moving, keep ticking. Some things have
come to a stop,
have altered, have changed, but there is a movement forward.
As the old year
thankfully passed into the past and the New Year began its
was, for a brief minute of time, a giddiness of relief and
a burst of belief
that all would be normal again.
But the New Year arrived and some of us discovered that its
arrival did not
wash away all the dread that we now carry with us, some of
the time. As we
move through the miasma of the repercussions of 9/11 our lives
on. Birthday parties happen, children have ballet lessons,
dinners are given
and contracts have to be written.
We go to restaurants. We have martinis; we drink wine, we
have good food.
The world, as we knew it, still exists in its essential form.
fundamental has changed. The innocence with which we lived
our lives is gone.
Are we a bit like Rome after it was raped by the Visigoths?
I don't know. I
only know that everyone I know is no longer feeling secure
the way we once
did. But even though we are insecure we must continue living.
business to do. We have things that must be accomplished.
The system keeps
It is just that the system does not feel as secure as we
once thought it was.
That is what was lost when the Towers fell: our belief that
the system was
This discomfort is everywhere and it infects our society.
It formed the
final moments of a conversation yesterday with a network executive.
professional level, he and his company were attempting to
assess the market
and what would people stand? How much reality do we want?
What can they do
successfully? After all, it's just TV.
Five years ago, I spent three and a half months in India.
And, I genuinely
worry that India and Pakistan will work themselves into a
frenzy and blow the
sub continent into oblivion.
I am afraid for my friends Kiran and Sanjay. Kiran, who gave
me the carpet
that graces the entry to our country house and Sanjay, who
gave me my
favorite pair of cufflinks
They live there and they could be blown away in a thermonuclear
hell that we
thought was behind us when the Cold War ended and the Soviet
But it is not. I vividly remember the fear I saw in the face
of a Muslim
woman in Bombay who was still attempting to understand the
riots that had
rocked the city two years earlier. She didn't understand where
the hate had
come from. But it's there and that strange, desperate hate
could lead to the
first nuclear disaster since Hiroshima.
I don't know what they're thinking but, I know enough from
being there that
it is a possible and in that possible we would lose some of
the greatness of
the next century. Indian and the Pakistanis great wealth is
resources but, in human resources.
Does anyone realize how many of the intellectual geniuses
of the last two
decades come from those two countries? Not enough. They are
the birth place
of a huge number of the intellectual forces that are shaping
God help us, they could blow themselves away!
I love India. It is the most magnificent, horrible, wonderful,
magical place I have ever been. And in all the madness of
the last months,
they have found an excuse to bring themselves to the brink.
The possibility that this moment could come was in the face
of the young
Muslim woman in Bombay six years ago. She knew this was a
even if she did not have the words for it.
We are sending troops to the Philippines, I discover. It
is another wave
from the meteor. Troops will be deployed in more places and
we will learn to
know exotic locations in any number of countries.
The clocks tick. Time keeps moving on. We live on the edge.
And what makes
me realize this more than anything is that they have found
the watches of the
victims of 9/11 and have gathered them up, ready to give them
back to the
survivors, many of them still ticking.
Time keeps on. The desperate pace of the world keeps on.
India and Pakistan
face each other off and I want to scream: stop! Troops go
Philippines. We are working to stop another meteor.
But even when the most horrific of events happens, time keeps
ticking on and,
even when death takes its toll, the machines and the clocks
keep ticking on!