With a little luck I will turn double sevens in a few months. Seven is a magical number. The Catholic Church considers seven the age when a child’s capacity to reason is sufficient to allow that child to receive communion. For me it was a bit different. It was the beginning of the end of my churchgoing. But that is another story.
Seven may be the most popular number probably because it represents the jackpot on slot machines. It also is the number of years of bad luck that comes from breaking a mirror. There are seven deadly sins. In the Book of Revelations one finds so many references to seven that it boggles the mind. Ingrid Bergman’s Seventh Seal is my favorite movie. It’s understandable that God rested on the seventh day. Beware hubris—seven years of feast are followed by seven years of famine.
Seven is a prime number. Consider the seven wonders of the world, the seven colors of the rainbow and the fact that several famous authors (J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis) wrote stories in series of seven.
According to brain research seven items of information is about the most we can hold in our short-term memory. However, turning double sevens may reduce that number to three, or one or zero. Which leads us to the question: Does age bring wisdom or simply the illusion of wisdom? How would I know? I’m not quite there yet.
One of my sadly departed friends left me with his seven words of wisdom: “Ain’t life a kick in the ass!” (RIP Paul Sutterly)
I’m hoping to make double sevens perhaps further if so granted but the end eventually comes. I’ve lived more years than my father, my mother, my sister, my brother and most painfully my oldest son. I’ll quote from my novel Behind The Locked Door.
Many die young. Jesus and Alexander the Great were thirty-three, the same age as Eric. Shelley and Keats, Mozart, Anne Frank, James Dean, Janis Joplin, Patsy Cline, Marilyn Monroe, and Martin Luther King were just a few that came to mind. These were just the famous, but there were the many babies who died at birth, and the countless casualties in all the wars …
He couldn’t help but think about all those millions killed during the war while he was a child. He was spared, was given a life. Why? What had he done with it?
“None of them people scared me,” (said Nelson). “What scared me was knowin’ that one day my son would ask:
“Hey, what did you do, Daddy, when the shit was goin’ down?”
“I did the right thing, son. That’s what I’m gonna tell him. I did the right thing!”