Quote of the Day: Living in the Face of Senseless Death

A Times columnist on shootings, terrorism, and even freak accidents

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"Our innate human desire to distinguish patterns, to process a rare atrocity within the scheme of our existing knowledge, to understand then allocate blame, is confounded here ... Faced with relatives, propelled by the burning, righteous energy of the bereaved, it is hard to stymie their desire to rewind history, to put in place measures that just might have prevented their loss ... Since the London bombings, some have stopped travelling by Tube and, I confess, I never board a carriage now without scanning for potential bombers or ownerless bags or being troubled by a quickly suppressed slo-mo vision of flying body parts, the carnage of a blast ... The randomness of life is harder to bear with age, that gathering anxiety about mortality that leads to a more cautious, duller life ... It takes courage to live in the face of arbitrary horror, without, for most of us, a religion that can attribute the cruel and unpreventable to the acts of an unknowable but wise God. But we must: as a nation and as individuals. There is no sanity, no fun, nothing to be gained from being Ms Worst Case Scenario."

--Janice Turner, writing in the London Times about the shooting rampage in Britain on Wednesday, which left 13 dead including the killer, a 53-year-old father of two

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.