Having time to reflect is always good. It’s something I’ve been doing quite a lot of this week. Taking time to sit and think about what has happened and how we are going to cope is something I think everyone needs to do. One evaluates how they see themselves in light of catastrophic events like those we experienced last weekend. It could so easily have been any of us that were at that fateful concert which makes me ponder my own fatality. It may seem morose but the attacks have reminded me how fragile life is. Perspective is a wonderful thing. The attacks last weekend have shaken the whole city. A city that has had its personality shaped by those who have stood up for what they believe in, for freedom and equality against repressive regimes. Paris is a beacon for all free thinkers amongst us, a symbol of love, culture and the good times.
I have seen so many posts on Facebook and other social media saying that we should also be praying for Beirut etc. This is true. However it does not negate our mourning. Our sorrow is not to be compared with that of another city; neither is better nor worse than the other. All loss of life is tragic. Paris is a city where anyone can say they are a Parisian no matter their nationality, creed or race. I am proud to call myself a citizen of this great city, it is truly like no other and what befell us Friday night last week was apocryphal.
There is a French word that has become particularly apt for me this week: rassemblement. It means coming together; something Parisians have been doing since the attacks. The fortitude of the residents of such a city makes me glad to call it my home. Still trying to process what happened find solace in the amazing reactions of the Parisians. When I started this blog I set out to become a native of this my favourite city and now I truly feel like I belong here. These attacks have shaken me so much because I feel a part of the city like it is an organic part of me. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t think how thankful I am that I live here and no terror attack can change that.