# Numbers numbers numbers: NINE

Numbers numbers numbers: NINE

Early on in my other life I was hand-picked and hired to assist with budgets, to work with numbers. One of the higher-ups remarked that my spelling score was quite good for a “numbers person.” This amused me to no end, as I’d no inkling that a) anyone in the world considered me fluent with numbers, or b) that the mundane labor that comprised my livelihood had been noticed, much less evaluated, by someone beyond my small, three-person office (certainly no one noticed the writing I’d produced and published). More than a quarter century later, I’m still amused. And still working with numbers, which even now remain mysterious, magical, and even inspiring.

Take the number nine. Multiply it by two, and you get 18. Add the two digits that comprise 18, one and eight, and you get 9. Multiply it by three: 27. Total the two digits forming 27, and you get, yes, 9. Multiply it by four, by five, by six, by seven, eight or nine. Add the digits that comprise the sum and you return to nine. Interesting, no?

It appears everywhere. In Islamic cosmology, the universe is built of nine spheres. In Ancient Mexico, the netherworld consisted of nine layers. The magic square consists of nine parts. Beijing was designed as a center with eight streets. Hindu temple foundations contain jewels and nine distinct grains. The human body has nine openings. The number also appears in both sacrificial and healing rites. The River Styx bends nine times. I could go on (we haven’t scratched the surface), but will refrain.

And if this piece piques your curiosity, you might find this poem inspired by zero (a truly fascinating subject) of interest:

Or this one, “That Number upon Which the Demand Lieth,” which takes up the number three.

## 23 thoughts on “Numbers numbers numbers: NINE”

1. I love numbers too, although no one ever accused me of being a numbers person. Each one has its mysteries. (K)

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2. Nine was my first friend among numbers — something I could actually subtract from as easily as adding to! — but close as we’ve been, I’ve always known I’ll 99 before I know all its secrets. 🙂

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• Numbers share their secrets, but sometimes they make you work for them!

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3. I love the number 9. If 3 is a magic number, the 9 is the wizard. Today I was behind a panel truck that had the number 9826866 stamped on it. My first thought, if you add them all and reduce the sum to a single digit number, it’s 9.
9+8=17+2=19+6=25+8=33+6=39+6=45 4+5=9
Of course I took shortcuts—the 9 was already a 9, and I split the 2 among the 8s, and then if you take half of one of the sixes and add those 3s to the the other two sixes, you get two more 9s.
I’m not sure there’s any cure for my affliction. 🤪🤪

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• Ha! And I thought I was the only one who did that sort of thing – I’m always adding up license plate numbers, phone numbers on billboards, etc. No, there’s no cure. 🙂

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• Support group then. Surely there are more of us.

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• Maybe we’re not as weird as we thought? Or maybe there are others just as weird?

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I have to admit when you said the human body has 9 openings. I ran through my own body to check and wondered if the nostrils count as 2 or does the belly button count as one? Otherwise, I’m at 8. And worried I’m forgetting something lol.

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• Ha! Yes, the nostrils count as two (or so I’ve read). 😬

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5. I can well believe that numbers are beautiful, but I never really grasped them beyond a certain level. That’s possibly why algebra flummoxed me. Mind you, there were special sets when I became 35 on 7.7.77 and 65 on 07.07.07.

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• I’m most comfortable with simple numbers. Those are most definitely special sets!

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6. Very smart you are. Math used to give me panic attacks. Never do it now.

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• Nah. I can add and subtract. I still have school dreams, about showing up for an exam without having attended the class. Those classes are invariably math.

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7. … and totally by coincidence I’ve been writing poems in three sets of nine lately.

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• Hmm. The last three poems I drafted were in tercets!

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