I do not have much that I can say about Paris right now. It’s too difficult, and so much of what is being said online too glib, facile posturing. I hate it. It rakes me raw.
But there are many kind people who have reached out, with empathy, to ask how we are doing and if all our family and friends are okay. And I think that most of these people have big enough hearts that they sincerely hope that I will say, Yes, we’re all fine. Everyone is fine.
In which case, the short, easy answer is that none of our family and friends are hurt, physically. And given how fortunate we are to be able to say that, that is both a great huge expansion of the heart in relief…and a tight, painful fist for those who can’t say the same.
But the longer answer is a little more complicated.
The 10th arrondissement is where my husband was born. It was where he returned to live at nineteen, as soon as he got his own apartment. His sister works there now. I first lived in the 14th, but moved in with him in his tiny apartment in the 10th later. That first year of being in love? That’s this part of Paris for us.
We love those streets. We love them deeply–the richness and life of this part of Paris, the diversity, the energy. We love the Canal St. Martin, and the Friday evenings when the terraces and theaters are full and groups hang out in front of nightclubs. This is the heart of Paris. The real Paris. The humanity of Paris, what makes this city so full of life. Terrorists could not have struck more closely into the heart of Paris even if they brought the Louvre down.
Terrorists are consciously attacking every value France holds most dear. First liberty of expression, now fraternity.
So I am very sorry, but the longer answer is that no one is okay. Our own closest people are alive and unwounded. That is wonderful.
But no one is okay.
No one in France is okay.
My mother-in-law posted this photo on her Facebook. I think this sums it up.
And this video, I think, covers all the rest I have to say.
Thank you, to those who have expressed their pain and concern for the people of Paris.