Last night Nina and I went to Le Café du Vivienne for my birthday dinner. We got news of the initial attacks on Paris upon our return to the flat in Montmartre.
I posted a status report on Facebook to let people know I was okay and then silenced my phone and went to bed.
Nina got up first as she has a flight to catch today. I stayed in bed an contemplated my upcoming trip to Versailles.
Then she said, “Oh my god. Check your phone. I have hundreds of messages.”
We had no idea.
She left for the airport and I’m taking in the news. My flat is very safe and in an area not affected by the attacks, as if there is anywhere in France that hasn’t been affected.
I’ll be hunkering down, reading books and monitoring the news.
I first visited Paris as a 12 year-old with my father. Being here now, a newly minted 44 year-old, I realize that Paris is for adults. It is only until you’ve tried to build something, to work with people, that you can truly appreciate what it means to create the Notre Dame, a building that took many lifetimes and thousands of artists and craftsmen to create. It is truly humbling.
My one thought is that the city of Paris is a soaring monument to the best humanity has to offer: art, learning, science, devotion, beauty, pleasure, the senses.
It is obscene to use this place as a canvas for such terrors. No one deserves these atrocities, but perpetrating them in Paris amplifies the horror. That was the point I imagine.
Nina is staying in touch with me about the state of Charles De Gaulle airport. I wish her safe travels getting home today. I hope I am able to leave tomorrow, I desperately want to be with my family.