I woke up today feeling such heaviness coursing thru my entire body. Did what happen last night really happen? Did I really watch a stunned Obama holding back the tears? Did I really watch a woman clinging to a window of the building of Bataclan for an hour? The Paris attacks left the world with so much darkness that one began to wonder if the we'll ever see the proverbial light. The morning sun that shone thru my window felt surreal. Is this light even real?
What radiated was the presence of evil- real evil. A construct used to describe Lex Luthor or every nemesis of Captain Planet. It is more tangible every time unimaginable acts of violence strike, and what’s overwhelming is that acts of violence have been happening repeatedly over the last few weeks.
The bombings in Beirut and another bombing in a funeral in Baghdad. The Russian plane that crashed in Egypt. The massacre at Garissa University College in Kenya. The massacre in Sweden. The train station bombings in Ankara- to name a few.
They stun us.They make us feel small. They make us feel overwhelmed then helpless. They are stone hands in our ribs just crushing our hearts and lungs. Paralyzing us. Stunned to the core. Cant think, move, feel or hear. In tiny voices we barely whisper, “What do we do?".
I called Dan (and some friends) last night to ask him how do we proceed to living our lives?. Was it was okay to watch something other than the news? Was it okay to continue with life when the whole world is mourning, stunned, or breaking. Can I crack jokes, or laugh at jokes? Was it right for me to write about fashion and clothes at these times of darkness?
He said that we just do continue with living. He told me that the difference between all of us and terrorists is that terrorists destroy. They tear things down. They crush souls. They do not create or build. They do not inspire.
Humanity creates. " Literature, music, art, film, architecture, laughter, food, family, love; we make these things. It’s why in spite of destruction and horror, we will prevail. We’ll rebuild".
I remember watching Lord of the Rings and there was this scene when the Frodo was bereft with the darkness of the ring and the deaths that surrounded him. He was just overwhelmed with evil.
And Sam, his sidekick said, " I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something."
"What are we holding onto, Sam?"
Sam: "That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for." (then carries Frodo to the mountain)
The super-hobbit strength, her background music, such assured positivity — it all feels a little cinematic and bright right now. It's like the sun this morning. The sun was just doing its job, waking us up, telling us strap our heavy hearts to our chest, put our chin up, fight the darkness, and live this life.
How do we fight the darkness in our own world? First, by being kind to our neighbors even our Muslim brothers and sisters. I read the story about a guy standing up for the Muslim cashier who was being picked on by drunken men. I'm sharing this story tidbit, because the the goal of ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorist groups is to disrupt our way of life by creating a vicious cycle of hate that breeds xenophobia in our society, causing further disenfranchisement amongst many in the Muslim community, which creates fresh recruits for the "Caliphate".
The writer said, "(that) if you see your fellow man being abused, stick up for them... (it) was a small act, but compound this message of love to 100 people, then 1,000 people, then 10,000 people, then 100,000 people, and then a million people and then an entire society - maybe that's the real sustainable strategy in beating ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the Taliban"
Lastly, we live, we inspire , we build and we rebuild.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Paris... Our thoughts and prayers are with the world.