Mon Cœur Est Cassé.

Boulevard des Courcelles

What a devastating, awful few days it has been. My heart breaks for the journalists at Charlie Hebdo, their families, the people of Paris, and Paris itself. Paris, light of my life. Seeing the Eiffel Tower go dark in honor of the victims was a somber, sobering sight. It brought tears to my eyes. But I’ve been so impressed with the resilience of the people of France, rallying together for peaceful, reflective demonstrations, holding pens in the air in solidarity, in defense of freedom of expression. The gatherings could easily have been tinged with anti-Mulsim sentiment (would have, had the attack been carried out in the states), but they have instead stood together to say, “I am Charlie.” A sign at the demonstration at Place de la Republique declared, “Je me exprimé avec des mots parce qu’ils sont encore la plus belle arme.” I express myself with words, because they are still the most beautiful weapon. That is what I choose to do. It’s so easy to take the freedom of expression for granted, to not think of it at all because of how intrinsic a value it is. But an attack like this proves there are those who would silence any opposition, are in fact whole groups devoted to ensuring that silence at any cost. And that terrifying fact has only served to strengthen the resolve of those who fight with the pen, with words, with wit, with drawings, with expression. And that will always be the most beautiful weapon.

Charlie Hebdo will recover, will continue to publish not solely in defiance of the threats and attacks, but in celebration of their right to deliver whatever message they want, in whatever medium. We should truly all be so brave. Paris will recover, has shown it is capable of overcoming the darkness in the days since the attack. For a city so filled with light, how could it not?

Bon weekend, mes chéris.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
January 9, 2015 / art / photo / Travel / LEAVE A COMMENT / 19

19 comments

  • I am heartbroken and horrified by what happened. These people were all part of our lives. I grew up with them. I just couldn’t stop crying yesterday.

    Thank you for this beautiful post.

    • I’m so sorry, Charlotte. I can’t imagine what you must be going through, being French and having this all-to-real association with the tragedy. Just know that, worldwide, there are millions of people supporting Paris right now. xo

  • C’est horrible ! Comment on peut s’attaqué à liberté d’expression ! Je suis choqué mais comme toi j’ai l’espoir de que tu finis “bien” . Le peuple français à très bien réagir en on n’est vas pas se laisser intimidé par quelques fanatiques ! Ici, l’ambiance est électrique !
    Bon weekend Erin xxx

    • J’ai vu une enseigne à la manifestation a la Place de la Republique qui a dit, “Charliberté,” et j’ai pleuré. C’est trop horrible, ces attaques. Je ne les comprends pas. Comment peuvent-ils s’attaque des journalistes?? C’est 2015. Je ne comprends pas. xo

  • beautiful words. it’s all very sad. and the insanity keeps going on. let’s hope we do learn the lesson from all of this in big enough numbers for things to change.

    • It’s so sad and so unfathomable. The unity rally was, what? 1.5 million people? Hopefully those are the kinds of large numbers that change things. xo

  • even though i do not have the connection to paris that you have, i was no less sadden by yesterday’s tragic events. i couldn’t help but think of everyone affected – a ripple effect that reached this country without the slightest dissolution – and was overwhelemed by it all. but as you more eloquently put it, the passive and collective action of the french people has been a more powerful response than any other that could’ve been made. xo

    • Oh, Lucinda, I hope you don’t think I should have some sort of monopoly on the grief given my obsession with Paris. No, no. This is a universal issue, my raging Francophilia is secondary to the obvious shock and pain the attacks caused me. I’m just still in awe of the way the French have handled it, and I hope that this sort of unity and peaceful, respectful tone continues as they try to make sense of everything. xo

  • i’ve had it on the news for the last couple days and it’s just heart wrenching. i could go on and on, but i think you said everything there is to say in a most eloquent way. xo

    • I felt glued to the tv in some compulsive way, like if I wasn’t watching the coverage I didn’t know what else to do. I was glad when it ended, though I realize “ended” is a relative term, and I know there is a lot more to go with this issue. xo

  • it truly has made me sad and somber in my own life to know that this happened. i look around at others that i work with and i feel like all of our problems are so stupid in comparison at a time like this. “I express myself with words, because they are still the most beautiful weapon.” what a really beautiful way to express response to something so awful.

    • It’s sometimes so much easier for me to not even think about what’s going on in the world (the week of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, 2000 people were killed by Boko Haram in Nigeria, there was a bomb explosion at an NAACP building in Colorado, and about a million other horrid things) because it just overwhelms me with sadness and helplessness. That’s why I was so lifted to see the French response to the attacks. All those people marching through Paris, peacefully, made such an impact. xo

  • Ugh the whole thing just makes me so sad. It’s just sad how people are fighting the wrong way.

    • What is so bizarre is that they really think they are fighting the right way. How sickening is that? xo

  • Eloquently worded. The French people specifically and the people of Europe have shown their resiliency and compassion in the wake of these attacks for which I hope will influence other nations.

    • I hope the greater message the world takes away from the last week is that you cannot silence people through fear and oppression and disgusting religious fanaticism. Good will eventually conquer all. xo

  • Their strength in the wake of last week’s events are inspiring and set an example to the world. I am (and will continue to be) filled with hope for this year

    • I choose hope, too. xo

  • Beautifully written, as always.
    I was unaware of anything that had happened until at least a day had gone by… all of a sudden I logged into Facebook and all of my French family members had posted about it and changed their pictures to “Je Suis Charlie”. It’s an awful thing that happened. I can’t even put it into words. I don’t know how many more ‘wake up calls’ this world needs before it starts choosing love.