Love Letter to Paris

Dear Paris,

The darkness has invaded – blasted its bloody way into the joy, pleasure and camaraderie of a Friday night in your Stade de France, your cafés and bistros, your concert hall. After living with you for many amazing years this violation rattles at the gate of the secret garden inside you awakened in me. You are the one who taught me about the beauty way, grace, sensuality, imagination and love – you showed me the face of the sacred Feminine.
You have been called the City of Lights - "La Ville-Lumière" - because you were the center of education, new ideas, and creativity during the Age of Enlightenment. Through you I learned how to create the kind of evenings where all my guests ended up shouting at each other in a vigorous exchange of ideas about politics, culture, a good recipe, a new metro route or the best bistro in the city. To disagree was to be respected and meant that we were alive. Not dead.

And you have been called the City of Love because there is simply no better place to meander hand in hand down cobbled streets on a sultry summer evening with a lover, or sit sipping Kir Royal in a café reading poetry, or stand gobsmacked in front of Monet’s water lilies, or make love unselfconsciously in a creaking bed on the 7th floor of a 14th century walk-up. To love with all our senses is to live. Not to die.

The raw violence and brutal distortion of the wounded Masculine has attacked this way of life and has left its carnage. But it CAN NOT and WILL NOT put out your iridescent light and love.

I know this dark force of death and destruction. And I know now that it is possible to enter into it, be present with it and transform it. I did not know that when I heard the impossible words, ‘David is dead’, and the bottom fell out of my world. My beloved husband’s sudden and chosen death devastated me and all the outer structures of my life. It brought me to my knees in a way that I cannot imagine any other act doing. The fulfilling future that I had imagined ahead was cleaved away like a giant iceberg breaking free. And there I was…on the edge of a new and unimaginable chasm.

Only a nanosecond ago David was with me cuddling in bed and I was his cherished wife and not this one left hanging over the broken ledge of desolation. The one staring into the void wondering what the fuck had happened. The sleepless, haggard one who had lost everything that mattered. My life had been completely shattered - there would be no putting back together again the pieces of that 'old me' or that 'old life'. There would be more falling apart and then eventually falling together again as I found the ground of my new life.

Paris, like me, you will have dark days ahead. There will be many tears yet to shed by those whose loved ones were taken, by the wounded and by the many people around the world who love you. There will be no going back to the innocent days before the senseless brutality. This wound will change you, and with any luck transform you. With the grace of time the Paris Phoenix will arise from your ashes – of this I am certain. And you will be able to hold more of the light because of your broken open heart and your encounter with this darkness.

When the black destruction swooped down into my life it was the loving surround of my dear family and friends that kept me steady. And I can tell you that my Center held…held against the tempests of anger and betrayal, against the overwhelming weight of grief and despair, against the disorienting fogs of confusion, against the uncontrollable waves of fear that often left me trembling and spent. My Center held like the picture I once saw of the Virgin Mary statue in a graveyard that was left untouched after Hurricane Sandy, while everything else around her was battered down by the force of the winter storm. 

You will need many of us to circle around you now as you heal. As you know I had already purchased a ticket to be with you in January. A friend asked me recently if I planned to cancel my trip now.  I responded, “If your best friend had just been brutality shot and wounded would you cancel your planned trip to visit her? Would you back away from the darkness so that it would not touch you? Would you close your eyes and pretend that nothing had happened?”
Of course not. I am coming to be with you through this dark night to help you move over the ragged ground of uncertainty and keep on going until the light of the new dawn dissolves the shadows and you arise stronger and more beautiful than ever before.  

Yours always, Suzanne