Just wanted to reassure anyone who heard the news about the explosion on the London Underground that my family and I are OK. I don’t use the Tube on Fridays as it’s my day off work and my therapy is now over Skype, although when I was having therapy in person I actually went through Parsons Grove, where the attack was. I do worry sometimes, not quite in a mental-health-anxiety way, about how dangerous the Tube is, not just from the point of view of terrorism, but of fires. It really is a death trap, especially at rush hour: deep underground, hundreds of people packed like sardines in tiny trains and tiny corridors… I try not to think about it or I freak myself out.
I guess no where is safe, though. I get haunted by a story from the 7/7 bombings. One of the victims was Israeli and had moved to the UK because she was frightened of being killed by Palestinian terrorism in the second Intifada. She narrowly escaped being on one of the trains that was blown up only to be murdered on the bus that was blown up as she was going to (as she thought) safety. It’s a real Death in Tehran story.
The psychologist Viktor Frankl tells the story of Death in Tehran in his book Man’s Search for Meaning:
A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with one of his servants. The servant cried that he had just encountered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his master to give him his fastest horse so that he could make haste and flee to Teheran, which he could reach that same evening. The master consented and the servant galloped off on the horse. On returning to his house the master himself met Death, and questioned him, “Why did you terrify and threaten my servant?” “I did not threaten him; I only showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned to meet him tonight in Teheran,” said Death.
I guess you’re going to go when you’re going to go, which is the message of the next few weeks in the Jewish calendar, with the exception that “repentance, prayer and charity, avert the evil decree.” (Unetaneh Tokef, from the prayers for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur). May we all be written for life this year, physically and spiritually.
I wasn’t intending to blog today, but I seem to have written a fairly substantial post, but I must leave things here and get on with lunch and pre-Shabbat (Sabbath) chores.