The day of the horrific attacks in Paris, Ruth, a good friend of ours Claire, and I were out and about in the very neighborhood where the terrible acts of violence took place.
We had such an incredible time looking in at artists' studios, visiting new and old places, meeting with designers, florists, caters and having taste breaks. We were putting together a package for the French Muse Experience.
The sign on the door read:
"And yes I will have my life sunny side up, thank you."
Yet hours later the sun set, a darkness would take over.
Ruth and I later would have dinner not far from the terror that rang around the world. Chelsea and her boyfriend live in the neighborhood, they frequent the places that were attacked.
The gut wrenching feeling that such hatred stole the softness of that tender Autumn night... the laughter, the chatter, the simple act of being happy sharing an evening with family and friends.
In my mind's eye I see the neighborhood that we spent the entire day wandering about... where are those people now?
The day full of such graceful autumn light, the hours before where flowers graced un-shuttered windows,
and our conversations overflowing with creativity and artful expression, where cafes filled with joyous ease... and the Saint Martin Canal lapping the banks while autumn leaves took their first and last swim.
A shop window in the neighborhood.
In the same shop a big bold luscious chandler sparkled overhead.
The tenth gleams with shops/cafes/restaurants with handmade goods, off the beaten track, no big brand names, the owners proudly shared how they work with artists in the area and around.
Just an ordinary day that happened to be on Friday the 13th...
The 10th is unique, diverse, cozy...hip, happening... youthful expression.
Not in my wildest dreams did I think anything bad could happen there, that day. But I suppose that was my innocence, my belief that most things could be healed with love and kindness, forgiveness and gratitude.
I do not want to be guided by fear, no matter how hard it knocks.
Six minutes on foot from the Petit Cambodge...
a flower shop, like many in Paris, singing hymns throughout the seasons with their variety of flowers and greenery.
When you walkabout Paris it freely offers at every angle, corner, up, down or sideways interest, intrigue... such undeniable pleasure.
The day was rich in such discovery, and yet later that would be overshadowed by a sadness the touched the core of many, and I fear opened us to a very different tomorrow.
Where questions of humanity and caring, suffering and refugees take front stage on a battle field that only seeks peace and understanding, yet are covered in such dark complexity and vastly different opinions.
But where do we begin? And how will this play out?
What role will each of us take?
A bridge over reflection.