life / politics / travel



Notre Dame de Paris

Just two days ago, this post would have been made under much better circumstances.

I would have talked about a blissful weekend, rounding off our wedding month. Would have talked of demis of vin rouge and beautifully-presented gluten free food, being deftly looked after by considerate and friendly waiters, wine, cheese, and late nights. Just talking and tasting and enjoying the luxury of it all. 48 hours of surprisingly sunny walks in early November, with a nod to the most famous of sites without feeling the need to repeat the tourist trips we made years ago.

Notre Dame de Paris

Now it feels frivolous.

More than anything now, it’s the aftermath that I find frightening. The hyperbolic rhetoric we’re going to hear from US Presidential candidates that is going to be anything but Presidential. (As if everything that has come out of Donald Trump’s mouth in recent months hasn’t been frightening enough). The tightening of security, the secret escalation of snooping powers, the likely heightened attacks in countries that place us in this position in the first place. The ostracism from society of people who had no part in these attacks, nor wanted any part in them, and indeed were running from them in the first place. We shouldn’t forget that on Thursday ‘at least’ 43 people were killed by an IS bomb in Beirut and the regularity with which this happens in countries directly affected by our foreign policy decisions.

Wandering around Ile de Paris by night

Sometimes during tragedies, rolling news reports and social media can feel overwhelming or frustrating, or flippant. Last night, this morning, there is nothing of substance that any of us who were neither there nor are members of the press, can really contribute right now. The same links are circulating and emotions are high, and people should definitely get off the hashtags that are meant to be useful if they’re not in the area that needs it…but last night Twitter felt like a small connection to people around the world who sat alone in their houses, united by the same shocked and angered responses.

jardin de tuileries in Paris, France

This feels like an endless era of violence, and I don’t know where we go from here. But today, we go celebrate a birthday and hold friends and family closer and steel ourselves for what is to come. And life softly continues for now.

1 comment on “Paris.”

  1. Beautifully written.

    Thinking of a Buddhist talk where Pema speaks about the terror attacks of 9/11 and any situation of collective devastation and trauma. She says (paraphrasing): In times like that no one knows what’s going on. It’s impossible to understand. The only thing we can do at such times is be there for each other. Take care of one another. Just be kind.

    I am grateful for the safety of my loved ones and my heart breaks for the people lost, the people who lost them and the people who are so full of hatred and righteousness that they can take lives, including their own.

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