Allow me to indulge in some stream of consciousness rambling today. My head has been filled with it since Tuesday when Europe suffered from another cruel and random attack. This time it was in Brussels on a spring day that started out with promising blue skies. Last November it was on an exceptionally mild evening when terrace cafés were filling up. And in 2001 it was another brilliantly blue sky day in September in Manhattan. There is no rhyme or reason. There never is. Just people in the wrong place at the wronng time and other people who are totally misguided and brainwashed.
So running through my mind this time (like the other times) are thoughts like these:
Why do they hate us? We don't hate them.
When will this end?
Is it safe to travel? Is it safe to walk outside?
Is that ambulance siren I hear something to be afraid of?
What did those poor people think in the moments after the bombs exploded?
What can we do to stop this?
How can you kill innocent people like this?
And again: why do they hate us?
They were basically the same questions we all asked ourselves in 2001. Sadly, not much has changed. Sadly, we aren't that much safer. And I keep thinking, it's a scary new world. A brave new world. But I don't feel that brave. And I realize this must be a little what people felt like living under occupied France during WWII. They didn't choose to be "under siege" or to live with the constant threat of danger. But they had to live with it. As do we.
And I say to myself, not again. Not another loss of innocent life, not another gaping black hole in our hearts. Tunisia, Ivory Coast, Turkey. They all matter, but somehow when it's a place you know, like Paris and Brussels in my case (we flew out of that airport in July), it hits home. It's too close for comfort.
And when I see the photos of a few victims, a happy traveler about to embark on a vacation, or a fresh-faced student with his life before him, I say, what a waste. And why them? If God is watching all this, why doesn't he do something? Send us a big message, Thou Shalt Not Kill! and I really mean it this time.
Too many questions and not many answers that can satisfy me or help me sleep soundly at night.
I can only pray for the grieving families and pray that peace comes soon. And pray that we can go back to normal. The old normal, please.