Oh, Paris… je t’aime

I’m a nostalgic, sort, I guess; while following the events of last night, I found myself browsing through my France photos from earlier this year. For those just arriving here, we (my wife and 8 year old daughter) spent the year travelling the world, and spending two glorious months in France, the entire month of June in Paris.

Spring in France.

Here’s the first photo that spoke to me last night, taken on our first full day in Paris, May 30. A nattily dressed man, walking down the middle of Boulevard de Clichy, carrying not one, but two baguettes. What could be more Parisiene than that?

2015-05-30 france paris neighbourhoods pigalle 6 cropped

This is just one of many, many images of my time in Paris that I will forever remember.

Here’s another one I took the same day, close by but in the Montmartre district, up the mountain from Pigalle. You’ll recognize the likeness: 2015-05-30 france paris montmartre graffiti gandhi copy

Many quotes are attributed to Gandhi, and his sensibility of non violence, to turning the other cheek to violence. I wish he’d lived in our time to offer counsel. I think he’d have something to say about root causes, about the lasting, inter-generational effects of colonialism, and international interventions.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

But it’s not a satisfying sentiment at times like this. We seek retribution (Hollande has already promised “merciless retribution”). We want justice, to punish those responsible (just who are they, just how shall we accomplish that?).

 

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