I have never been to Paris.
Well, unless you count that one really stressful layover at Charles de Gaulle Airport last summer. Which I don’t.
My heart sunk when I heard the news on Friday afternoon. Yours did too, I’m sure. By now you’ve seen the news. You’ve read the stories. You’ve heard the commentary. You’ve watched video footage. You’ve listened to news pundits. There are about a billion blog posts and tweets and essays and Op-Eds out there about all of it – Paris and Beirut and Syria, fear and violence and terrorism – so the last thing you need right now is a-nother voice adding to the noise. Right?
Believe me, I don’t either.
But, for what it’s worth, I didn’t plan on writing about Paris. I don’t have anything new to add to the conversation, so why bother, right? We all have our opinions and ideas and reactions. I have mine and you have yours, and I doubt anything written by little ol’ me will change your opinions, so why add to the cacophony, right?
I didn’t want to write about Paris. Or Beirut. Or Iraq or Syria. It’s all so complex and confusing and heart-breaking. I’m weary and worried and too tired to get on my soapbox. Let’s be honest, we all have our own ideas about causes and just responses, guttural responses that were likely formed within a matter of seconds whether we realize it or not. It’s hard enough to hear our own inner voice amidst all the chatter sometimes, isn’t it? After I heard the news (about Paris, Beirut, all of it), I felt an overwhelming need for silence. For quiet. For stillness.
I didn’t plan on writing any of this. I don’t have any suggestions, solutions, or political theories. I have my own beliefs and feelings, of course, but I also have more questions than answers. The noise has grown too loud; the air is saturated with blame, criticism, judgment, and second-guessing. I don’t want to add to the clamor or the pollution.
So, like I said, I didn’t think I would write this post.
But then my friend Angie (of Angie McMonigal Photography fame) emailed me some photos from Paris – how could I not write about it?
Because these two words seem to say it all: more love.
These two tiny words say more than ten thousand others: more love.
These two powerful words contain the depth of our joy and grief, beauty and pain, questions and answers: more love.
These two soft words are bigger and bolder, more simple and more complex, more comfortable and more difficult than anything I’ve heard touted by the pundits or experts or soapbox-standers: more love.
These two words are sometimes the only thing we can offer: more love.
more love, more love, more love, more love