The tragedy that has occurred in Paris has really touched a nerve with me today.
Intuition is a funny thing. You can call it coincidence, gut feeling, a niggle, whatever....but when it kicks in it can stop you in your tracks.
It's certainly stopped me today.
I have a bit of a routine. I wake up too early and I go to bed too late. (Yes, I'm writing this at 12.30 am). I do try and counteract this and wind down in the evenings but I'm just no good at getting enough sleep. One of the things I try and do is switch off from any screen time before bed. I'll usually just read or crochet for the last part of my awake time instead.
For whatever reason, I didn't follow my usual pattern and last night I scrolled through Facebook and I saw a post from a friend in Paris. It was written in French but I got the gist and I wondered what concert she referred to that she was attending that evening. I sent a quick 'Amuse toi bien' (Have fun) message and I smiled at her "This is the life" comment.
When I woke this morning I did something else that I never do. I picked up my phone and checked a news feed. I did it before I even got out of bed.
I saw the beginnings of the reports coming in from Paris. At that point a lot of things were unclear and there were only a few mentions of casualties but I knew that a concert venue had been part of the attacks.
As the morning went on I kept watching and reading the news and the stories were getting worse. I had to turn the TV off as it was too harrowing. There was that niggling feeling... I couldn't stop thinking about my Facebook exchange the night before.
I checked my phone and eventually there was a message -
"We are safe but it was a close call. We were at The Bataclan last night...."
It went on to say how awful it was in Paris. I can't begin to imagine.
Once I knew that my friend was safe, I was quite emotional and I found it difficult trying to explain to Sibs what was going on. Having some kind of connection to the awful situation was increasing my feelings of vulnerability.
All day today I kept thinking about the theatre, the concert, those awful moments of realisation for those innocent people. People in the wrong place at the wrong time...
I want Sibs to see the world. I want her to feel that she can explore but each time something like this happens it quietly petrifies me...
Sibs and I went to a party tonight. I wasn't really in the mood but we danced and it was fun. On the way home we began to talk about the day and the conversation quickly moved to how the news and social media was dominated by the attacks in Paris. We spoke about the relative safety of where we lived and we tried to find a sense of perspective in the tragedy.
I remembered a quote that I read earlier in the day and it helped.
"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news,
my mother would say to me,
'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping'."
There are always helpers and there are great acts of kindness, compassion and care in the midst of the horror. There are good people with good hearts.
The good will always outnumber the bad.
Paris est dans mes pensées.
Paris is in my thoughts.
Paris is in my thoughts.