These days are so difficult.

It was obvious after Tuesday—after terrorists declared war on America—that it was going to be much harder to go on. But it’s one thing to realize that the world is about to change, and another to actually live in it—minute by minute, conversation by strained conversation. I am aware that I have anger and frustration and deep sorrow lying just underneath a numb, shocked exterior. And I know I’m not thinking as clearly as I would otherwise be.

It’s just so hard to concentrate on almost anything. Even in the best of circumstances I’m an easily distracted person. The news of further developments and leads and clues and accusations and promises of justice and rescues and the disheartening news of not enough rescues are both compelling and wearying. I have the strong desire to stay informed and to find out news as soon as I can… but it’s so hard to continuously hear it. Being reminded of the horrors of September 11th amplifies the pain.

And it’s horrible to think that there were more attackers. It chills me to know that still more inhuman monsters exist that would literally do anything fueled by hatred. At least all other planes were grounded on Tuesday in time to stop the other terrorists in New York from doing the same thing. The frightening thing is that something like this—or, God forbid, worse—really could happen anywhere, at any time, and the people that planned these attacks still live.

I believe that no one has the right to take other people’s lives. No person, no group of people, no institution, no government, no corporation. That’s why it hurts so much to know how many thousands have been snuffed out so callously. I don’t believe in the death penalty. I find that belief tested knowing how terrorists take advantage of it.

The effects of the attacks are so far-reaching and profound. So many people who yet live have been hurt: physically, mentally, emotionally. We, as a country, as a people, as a culture, and as a world, have lost so much. We have lost friends and family. We have lost our sense of security, which may have been false to begin with.

Does this mean we should lash out at who we believe did this? Maybe. Is this the time for prudence? Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers.