I selected this image last night – I had just the story to go with it. But what a difference a moment makes. I wandered past my drawing room where my TV was still on, left talking to itself when my youngest daughter rang for a chat some 2 hours earlier. But here was no frou-frou Friday entertainment, here was our Giant Panda lookalike of a President looking shaken and grave. Paris riven assunder AGAIN by terrorists. Reports of death and maiming and pointless, unspeakable, unthinkable violence. Our borders closed, we are on lock-down and in a state of emergency for the first time since 2005. This morning, the community I live in is numb, shocked, shattered by proxy to the core. We have shaken hands and dolled out les bises with tears in our eyes and rolling down our cheeks. The last post I made on here was about bells. Our bells have tolled their mournful E flat for a full ten minutes every hour this morning. Peeling for the dead. Peeling for the bereaved. Peeling for the battered, mutlilated injured. Respect. Respect.
So I give you this image of Napoléon on his Marengo – a strange fabricated effergy that I photographed in Paris in September. Just off Rue Saint Honoré close to the Place de la Concorde I have no idea what he is doing up there waving his banners like that. But somehow I feel that he IS appropriate today. When the very fabric of the country is waivering, reeling, tested to it’s extreme. Maybe a molded dictator riding bare-back and tied down by guy-ropes is an accessible image of victory we can embrace. Victory not of one party over another, nor one country over it’s adversery. But the victory I dream of that love will prevail. Because I do believe that in the end love is all we need. And we must not let the bile of retribution get in it’s way.PS: I was posting this in response to the Daily Press Weekly Photo Challenge entitled Victory – the other more remarkable entries can be found here.
PPS: The actual Napoléon is responsible for my title – my favourite of his attributed quotes ‘Courage isn’t having the strength to go on – it is going on when you don’t have strength’. Today of all days, those words resonate.
#jesuischarlie #jesuisparis #parisattacks #prayersforparis #jesuishumanité