This is the post that I wanted to write but could not find a means of doing so after September 11, 2001. It is also the post that I could not write after George W. Bush declared war on Iraq in March, 2003, paving the way for ISIS, among other things.
This is the post that I tried to write about after the London bombings on July 7, 2005 — my 21st birthday. As you can see, I was still unable to express much more than shock.
This is the post I could not write after the 2013 Boston Marathon, nor after waking up on Friday, April 19th and discovering that my city was under lockdown, my mother-in-law’s neighborhood was being searched, and the whole state was asked to keep mum.
This was the post that I could not write after the murders in North Carolina, despite seeing a professor visibly shaken by what had happened to members of his own faith in a region he knew so well. It was the post that I could not write after the first attack in Tunisia, even as a Tunisian colleague struggled to express himself and his emotions. I tried once again after the Tunis beach shooting during Ramadan, the holy month where one must abstain from even disputes and arguments, but still failed to say what I wanted.
However, with the Paris attacks something finally changed. Perhaps there is something to be said for the way in which repetition helps bring thoughts to the surface. Perhaps there is something to be said for having skin in the game. Perhaps it all came down to the passing of time.