Je Suis Charlie

je_suis_charlie_08It’s been a sad week. There’s no need to tell you why, I’m sure you know. Even though i’ve been in North America for the past several months, this week’s tragic events hit really close to home.

First of all, because several Parisian artists and editors were killed. Although I didn’t know them, I know many other artists in that beautiful city. I’ve helped several of them in small practical ways. I’ve sat for hours at a café listening to their struggles. And best of all I’ve supported and enjoyed their art.  I often call myself a chaplain to the Paris arts community, so it hurts that I’m not there at this crucial time, to be a part of the healing process.

The second reason this feels like it hit close to hDLS-carte-charlie-hebdoome – it literally happened extremely close to our Paris home. We lived on Boulevard Richard Lenoir just a couple of blocks south of this map. I quite often parked my car on Rue Nicolas Appert. It was my go-to street for finding that elusive Parisian parking spot.

However, despite these close connections, I’m not fearful. This kind of thing can happen anywhere. There was nothing at all inherently dangerous with my neighborhood in the 11th arrondissement.

I have not missed Paris until this week. I really wanted to march in her streets with the millions of others. I suppose I did in my heart.