notes + observations + star addresses
A TRIBUTE TO AN ICONIC MONUMENT IN PARIS
I took this photo exactly one month ago on March 15 from inside the Shakespeare and Company cafe. I had come from my dentist’s office in search of a hot chocolate (doesn’t everyone go for hot chocolate after a dental appointment?). Waiting in line, I looked out the window to admire the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris and, as I often do, felt both grateful and inspired to live in this beautiful city.
It’s fitting, I believe, that "Point Zero" or “the centre of Paris” is just in front of the Cathedral; in many ways Notre Dame is the heart of the city. When flames pushed out of her roof and poured over her walls, journalists commented over and over that she was “bleeding”. And I think this is how we all felt, slowly dying.
Walking on the top of that tower felt like walking on the moon
Just before my son was born, I took it upon myself to climb the 387 steps up one of the Cathedral’s towers. I did so, grunting and hating myself every step of the way, but then proud of myself as I stepped outside and inhaled one of the most exhilarating views. Walking on the top of that tower felt like walking on the moon.
It is sad to see buildings burning, sad to witness what we know is irreversible, sad to see such damage that we know is permanent. France and Macron and Madame Hildago will likely make it their mission to rebuild and restore the Notre Dame, but that is far away from today. This fire is a cold reminder of how these precious things we revere are so fragile, how powerless we are in the face of nature’s flames, how Paris’s most compelling attribute is her survival, and how a little piece in everyone dies when she bleeds.
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