“Our generation is realistic, for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also the being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.”
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
I have always been a questioner.
On family road trips when I was small (smaller), I wrestled with a physics question. Why did the fly which had flown into the open window continue to buzz around against the back windscreen? Why hadn’t it, with the speed of the vehicle, found itself SPLAT on the glass? Kilometres were spent agonising over this problem.
At school, somewhat bigger and rather sassy, I moved onto linguistic questions: “Why,” I argued with several esteemed English teachers, “does it have to go ‘good, better, best‘?” This, value judgement I thought rather unjust.
More recently I find myself perplexed by a thieving squirrel, who somehow smelt out a handful of old walnuts I threw out in winter to fertilise the pots on my 2nd floor terrace. I cannot get rid of him: he eats the birdseed, digs up my beans and, Hubby and I seriously suspect, has stolen some of our strawberries!
Last night I wondered at Hubby’s ability to fall asleep any time, any place in about 30 seconds. Not. Fair.
Hubby will say that I’m burbling now … But what I’m leading to is one of the the biggest mysteries of our time.
I know we all have the capacity in us to be mean and spiteful and positively horrid – I see it in myself.
But I still cannot begin to understand how a car has become a weapon, and what a person can hope to achieve by randomly choosing a day, a place, an hour, to take another person’s – a stranger’s – life?
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all those who have lost their lives to acts of terror in London and all over this rather broken globe we inhabit.
P.s. One blistering hot, endless road trip to the Kalahari, we drove over sand dunes and through dry river beds for hours. My sister asked if there was by any chance some ice-cream. At this point my brother and I told her there was no more ice-cream in the world. She’d never again taste the cool, refreshingly sweet taste of ice-cream in her life again. She was about 3. Sorry little sister for giving you ice-cream issues! #meansiblings #loveroadtrips
P.p.s. I still think that somewhere, in another universe, the words ‘gooder‘ and ‘goodest‘ hear my protest, raise their eyebrows, and say “I hear you sister”. But out there in Wordland they are strapped in planetary orb and cannot get back to earth to support me.
P.p.p.s. I’m not exaggerating about Hubby’s sleep super power. He once fell asleep standing up in a crowded commuter train in Moscow!
P.p.p.p.s. I have so many questions that still need answering … “Who shot the sheriff?” “What does covfefe mean?”