Monday, November 16, 2015

The Monday After The Friday Before

Greg Ortega

 GO. BE. LOVE. The world needs you.
~ Susan Branch

It's Monday morning. Had some difficulty this past weekend wondering what to post. I had other plans and ideas, but somehow it all seemed too ordinary, almost trivial, in light of the horrifying events that took place in Paris just a few days ago.

We watched the news and kept an eye on our Facebook feeds as people around the world shared their responses in light of these tragic losses. So many thoughtful articles and posts.

When we aren't the ones actually involved in the tragedy in someway, we sometimes don't know how to respond to such news. We can feel the sadness and the grief, but our lives carry on. On Saturday morning, I got up and found refuge in my kitchen, pulling out ingredients to make homemade stock that would later become a comforting leek vegetable chicken soup. There's a kind of consolation in doing something ordinary and peaceful when one's mind swirls with images and emotions of such a horrible magnitude.

It was interesting to read one Facebook comment from a woman and her family living in France not so far away from Paris. Their plans had been to go to some of the local Christmas markets on the weekend. Should they still go ... or not? In the end they went. Quiet, subdued, reeling with the reality of the horror fresh in their minds, they went, keeping faith with those who were also there, carrying on with normal life in some small measure, taking comfort in the seasonal displays, buying an ornament or two, even enjoying the antics of some silly dog.

Louis Pellissier

Yesterday, Rick and I went to a lovely coffee spot in town. I caught sight of a local newspaper with photos of the Eiffel Tower. As I sat waiting for Rick to bring our coffee to the table, I looked around. People sitting in corners, some reading, some tapping away on their iPads, others sitting in little groups quietly enjoying each other's company. It seemed quieter and more subdued than sometimes.

And, the thought ran through my mind, we're sitting in this place inhaling the fragrance of fresh ground coffee, listening to the chatter and buzz of coffee grinders ... people had been doing this very thing in Paris just a few days earlier before their world exploded. And lives ended.

There are a thousand thoughts we can think at a time like this. I didn't feel fear in this, but I did note that our lives together with people we love should not be taken for granted. The chances of something like this happening to me personally may be slim, but living in a world fraught with hatred makes us all vulnerable.

So we sip our hot chocolate and nibble away on our cinnamon croissant. We think of these dear people.

We also remember well known words by Mother Teresa ... Every act of love is a work of peace no matter how small. We can't help the people in Paris personally. But, in response, we draw nearer those we do know and love; we hold hands, and we demonstrate little acts of kindness to people we know and folks we don't. Sending out love, not fear or hatred or despair. For where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow.

I share a bit of poetry I saw on Facebook ...

later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the
whole world
and whispered
where does it hurt?

it answered

by Warsan Shire

Our hearts go out to those whose lives are forever changed, wherever they are in the world.

Wishing you peace...


  1. What a lovely post, Brenda. Thank you.
    Having spent many visits in Paris, we feel so sad that the horror has struck. But the French are so good at recovering, albeit with sadness in their hearts.

  2. Dear Brenda- such a lovely and thoughtful post. Like you I strive to do the common activities hoping to bring a sense of goodness in spite of evil. Perhaps for me it is my way of not letting evil win. Take care friend.

  3. I hope you're right that such acts are "slim" here, but I tend to think just the opposite. After 9-11, anything is possible. The world is growing more evil by the day. I'm glad I know the peace speaker.

  4. Beautiful words and thoughts instead of the hatred and violence. xx

  5. Lovely words, Brenda - so heartfelt and full of love. You are right, we can make a difference just by being loving and kind. Hugs xo Karen

  6. Thank-you for sharing these thoughts that ring true in so many of us! I too felt a humble reverence as I proceeded to live out the beautiful ordinary of chores and such on Sat. morning.

  7. Beautiful thoughts. I remember posting something similar after seeing the images of the beheadings of Christians by ISIS. We do not have the hard job of being leaders and decision makers (Lord, give them wisdom!), but we can love, wherever we are.

  8. Thank you for these beautiful thoughts, Brenda. I have felt much the same way, and have those who are suffering in my thoughts.

  9. Your words and thoughts convey love and the desire for peace in this broken world. We cannot do much, but as you've said so eloquently, we can love.

  10. Paris. This is a time for poets. There are no words.

  11. Perhaps you saw the news report of a little French boy questioning his father about evil and guns. His father told him that he had flowers and candles. The child was comforted; I was not. It is a sad that sometimes the most loving action has little to do with flowers and candles. One day! One day, the world will be set aright.

  12. I know. And appreciate your sweet words commemorating this sad weekend.

  13. Your beautiful post says it all so well, and indeed reminds me of 9/11 too. We didn't know anyone personally affected by 9/11, but still the heartache and sadness overwhelmed our hearts, even as the news continued with its sad stories. The poetry you shared was beautiful. Love is really the greatest answer to the wrong in our world. A very touching post you wrote! Have a blessed day :)

  14. Beautiful post. The poetry is so pretty, too.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo