When you don’t have the strength
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
Thinking of you all on this very sad day.
Thank you Jean, your thoughts are truly appreciated 🙂
Prayers and thoughts go to all the families involved in this tragedy.
Indeed they do, Judy. Thank you for taking the time to share yours on my post 🙂
I really have no words for what has happened, so thank you for allowing me to share yours.
I only have words and mine are freely given 🙂
Our thought and prayers are with you and all of France. I personally found strength, courage and optimism in Napoleon’s quote! Thank you for sharing. Xoxo
Thank you Marcia! I did too xxx
let us hope we crest the hill and find a different way on the other side
Strange is one word for it. Bluddy messy and caused by the interference our elected leaders is closer to the truth 🙂
Oh, I know….
Poor souls…out to enjoy the start of the weekend…..
so dreadful … TGIF will never be the same for them …
And look where following the U.S. government has brought us…
Don’t get me started … the US, the UK and others too. Interfering fools but its not the buffoons that suffer – it’s the innocents, yet again.
And about time that those who loved those innocents started to see what their governments are up to…
Same page, same wavelength Helen … 🙂
Love the Napoleon quote and agree it resonates beautifully on this sad day. The world mourns with you.
I’m glad you agree on the quote, Tina. It is a favourite and it seemed to fit ‘comme un gant’ . We mourn together – let us not forget to keep that togetherness as the weeks unfurl.
This is devastating! I was on the road so heard of this very late last night! Such a sad day for everyone! My prayers and thoughts and hopes for healing go out to everyone! This is a lovely post!
I’m glad you enjoyed th post, Lyn … tragic circumstances of which I can make no sense.
yes I know it is totally senseless and crazy!
Meera, my niece, should gave been in Paris working but is at home with her family as my brother is unwell. John’s niece, Naomi, is in Paris and was in a restaurant lying on the floor listening to the gunfire and explosions. She is safe but so many other people, young and old, were not. C’est incroyable et je suis désolée.
I know about Naomi, my cousin but not about Meera. There will be so many stories from this disgraceful invasion of normal life, Jenny. There is nothng but to be desolate! xx
un grand et sincère MERCI, Fiona! <3 vive paris, vive la France – notre patrie, vive la VIE!!!
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@ #jesuischarlie #jesuisparis #parisattacks #prayersforparis #jesuishumanité = oui, yes…
De rien Michelle (which seems futile) x
Michelle?!… mon seul et unique prénom est Mélanie!!! 🙂
Sorry sorry …. I was very tired when I wrote that
‘A rose by any other name would smell as sweet’ 🙂
We are in Paris in thoughts and have been quite relieved to hear that all of our friends were safe. We hurt for all of the families who have lost loved ones and for all of those lifes wasted. It is also very poignant for us as it all happened where we used to live and we were visiting just a month ago…I must admit that I have problems truly understanding the rage of people who can do such acts.
We are still in shock today but the events of last nights. However, we are relieved to have heard from all of our friends that they are all safe. Our heart bleed for all of the families who have lost loved ones and for all of those wasted life. I must admit that I have difficulty understanding how someone can have so much rage to do such an attack. Very sad day though we have to stand tall and not give in to paranoia which is what the attackers want us to do…Thanks for your post.
Sorry for the repetition. I thought I had lost my comment and started again but it was still there…now I can’t fix it.
It’s bad enough being a few hundred kilometres south – I can’t begin to imagine your relationship to this. Where you lived such a short while ago. Where you trod again so recently, so happy to be back and reminiscing the good times. Friends. People you passed in the street.. Blown up, shot, destroyed by an evil force beyond the comprehension of any of us. I wish you peace. I wish you calm. I wish you the joy that comes with knowing all of yours are safe.
Thanks for your lovely note…it is so well said that it almost made me weep. It is a very sad time…
That is a fabulous quote. I fear that I have neither the courage nor the strength at the moment…. Just feel numb.
I’m not certain even Boney himself would be forging on just now. Peace on earth and goodwill to mankind s end sorely lacking today
Excellent post Fiona.
Thoughts are with you. x
Thank you Cameron … your kindness is so much appreciated 🙂 x
Like you, and so many others, I have lots of dear friends in France. I am a committed francophile, and have received notes from friends who knew I was in France recently. Your note says it all – be careful what you wish for! Thank you Osyth.
A truly sad day for the world. One day it will be no more.
Thank you for taking the time to write, Arby. I’m glad your friends care enough to be in touch with you. Love is precious and to be protected – I fear those who have lost their loves or are living in the ghastly half-light willing theirs to live not die as a result of Friday’s attacks will find it hard not to seek or cry for retribution and so the fabric of our precious planet is eroded more and the forces of evil win a little more ground in their quest for Armageddon which appears to be the aim in all of this. Dark days. Dark days.
You know that I have been thinking of you since this all began. The victory you dream of is one that we all share. Jesuisparis aussi.
Thank you Andrew. I can only hope that out of the pointless ashes of this appalling misery will someday rise the Phoenix of Peace.
Hi Osyth, I have only just go around t reading this post, for obvious reasons, not having had the heart to do more than put up the short post saying that I was safe and the photo of Liverpool’s support for Paris,
This city has seen more suffering than any other over the centuries and had more than its fair share of massacres, she wears her scars well with dignity and with a sadness and mistrust that, if you scratch her shiny surface, is always there.
I love her and my heart bleeds for the beautiful young souls who were taken by. as you so aptly put it ‘An invasion of Liberty’ on the cusp of what should have been a weekend with family and friends, and for the most part on the cusp of their lives.
Armageddon is the day when God has promised to return to wipe out the evil and corruption of men and Christ takes his rightful place as king of the world, so maybe the sooner it comes the better, because we have made one hell of a mess for ourselves and the planet in general.
I need a strong dose of Napoleon’s courage every time I get on a train to work. Thank you for posting this
Thank YOU for taking the time to comment. I send you love from a place I know you love and I wish you and all of you in that most beautiful of cities the strength and the courage to keep living and loving. For we all must in the names of all the bright young things whose hopes and dreams were so brutally smashed on Friday. X
Hello, Osyth. Tonight is Thanksgiving Eve in the US and although Charley and I have much to be personally thankful for, It is still difficult to watch the news and feel any happiness for this planet in our hearts. But as I read blogs from around the world and the comments offered, I try to keep in mind a young woman’s words in the midst of a past cruel chaos:”I keep my ideals because in spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.” Anne Frank
Charley and I wish you a Peaceful Thanksgiving. Love, Clare
After reading this post and a few others prior, it’s as if you have just been born. You’re discovering, bonding, flourishing and loving with all your might your Country France, your home.
It is exactly like being born or re-born … I didn’t really understand what home was. I’m glad I continued to believe that I would find one. For those that are settled in this world I say understand how fortunate and priviliged you are. Because there are far too many in varying degrees of displaced either through the actions of others or simply because life is panning out simply. Vive le foyer 🙂