But for me it is when a student has died. I find the death of a young person the most difficult and painful of times. To explain it to other young people to see a bright future snuffed out is just awful. I am haunted by those deaths.
The first novel I wrote was a monster - clocking in at 180 000 words - but it died a death a death it deserved. It was called 'The Gods First Make Mad.' It was a good title but it was the only good thing about the book. I didn't let that put me off.
Over the past 50 years we got versions of X-ray specs and space vacations and even death rays. But the X-ray specs don't fit on your face - they're big things that screen your luggage for guns. Space vacations are real but they cost $20 million. We have death rays but you have to be a triple Ph.D. to play with them.
We burned to death 100 000 Japanese civilians in Tokyo - men women and children. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?
I am politically pro-choice but personally pro-life. I have my faith but refuse to force it on the world at large - especially this world so brutal and unjust. I cannot make these wrenching personal life and death decisions for others - nor do I believe they should be made by a church run by childless men.
We worry about the seemingly ever-increasing number of natural catastrophes. Yet this is mainly a consequence of CNN - we see many more but the number is roughly constant and we manage to deal much better with them over time. Globally the death rate from catastrophes has dropped about fifty-fold over the past century.
A Shakespearean tragedy as so far considered may be called a story of exceptional calamity leading to the death of a man in high estate. But it is clearly much more than this and we have now to regard it from another side.