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Thu, Jul. 7th, 2005, 10:39 am
Living Connected

Terrible news from London - and yet, reading it, I couldn't help feeling a sense of relief. Only twelve confirmed dead, I thought to myself. That's not really a bad one. And yet, how can one say "not so bad" to the people who've lost family, friends, lovers, enemies?

I remember living in Jerusalem, wondering every day when I woke up whether there might be another attack, every phone line in the country going busy simultaneously as everyone tried to call everyone else they knew.

I remember a friend showing me the twisted scar down his leg from where hot metal from an exploding bus had sliced him, and another friend walking with a limp from a bullet wound. Not soldiers, these friends - civilians, but wearing forever the scars of their courage.

I remember the doctor picking bits of glass out of my face with tweezers, and then moving to the next girl, shaking his head, sighing, resigned.

These days I live in the secure round of work and writing and home and school, and I sometimes go days at a time without thinking about any concerns beyond those within my horizon. Yes, I take care of my friends, and I do work that I think is important, and I try not to let anyone suffer unnecessarily - but is that enough to live a moral life? We are, cliche as it may sound, all connected in this age of airplanes and e-mail. To live within the bounds of one's own life is selfish and short-sighted - and yet what can one person do besides the task that comes to her hand?

Today, I resolve to remember the dead - not how they died, and not as heroes, but as ordinary, flawed, heartbreaking human beings. Someone on that bus was in love; someone had been betrayed; someone always told awful jokes at parties. Let us not forget, as the terrorists do, that all the causes in the world cannot redeem one life from destruction, nor give back its everyday blessings.

That's all from me right now, my friends.