Here in Paris, after a strange and painful weekend, life now goes on today – that’s the best thing that we, the living, can do for ourselves and for the dead – in this magnificent, beloved and wounded city of ours. The terrorists can shoot and kill and spew their hate, but they can never take that magnificence or our love away from us if we can keep our wounded hearts open.
I’m amazed by the outpouring of support and love coming from all of the world, for me and my family and sangha, but also for Paris and all of France. Thank you.
I’m also struck by the bitter cynicism of the perpetrators, who very consciously chose to attack the principal aspects of what makes Paris a haven of savoir vivre – a concert, terraces of cafés and restaurants, a great soccer match. Not only that, but they chose one of the most mixed (Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, workers, professionals, Bobos, artists, young people, families, old people all live there), joyous and enjoyable neighborhoods in the city. And they lined up their attacks roughly along the boulevard Voltaire (yes, the philosopher who urged tolerance!), the route that hundreds of thousands of us followed on a Sunday in January as we marched in solidarity after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
Yesterday, I felt like crying most of the time, and I did cry sometimes. Also had brunch at our house with dear friends, all of us still shocked and uncertain. But then all together as we raised a glass of excellent Champagne we said, ‘Vive la France!’ and I suspect none of us have ever said it with as much meaning as we did then. It was like saying, ‘Vive la Vie!’
May all of our broken hearts remain, amid the sorrow and pain, open today.