Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris

Words cannot express how horrific last night's attacks on Paris and the free world are.


I took this picture of the lion below just a couple of days after the attacks on Charlie Hebdo's offices and staff in January this year. The lion seemed shocked, sad and wounded as he looked down in disbelief at his city, against the somber winter sky.


This Wednesday I saw the lion again. It made me happy to see him roaring with seemingly regained strength and confidence against a perfect bright blue Autumn sky. This was just two days before the attacks.


A lion is a symbol of strength and courage. These qualities will stand against those who commit horrendous crimes and cowardly acts against innocent people.

My thoughts are with the victims and their families. Nous sommes Paris.

51 comments:

  1. Ils n'y a pas de mots .
    J'ai eue très peur pour mes enfants
    Je t'embrasse Myriam

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  2. So incredibly horrible...I cannot stop thinking about it, the innocent victims, all them any families in the worst kind of grieving today. A country in shock and a world in mourning with them. Such a senseless crime......our world is a scary place right now. All we can do is pray for all those affected by this horrible act. Take good care.

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  3. Nous sommes Beyrouth, Nous sommes Paris. Nous sommes le monde entier contre la barbarie et l'intégrisme quel qu'il soit.
    So sad...
    Catherine

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  4. Dearest Mai Tai,

    Joining you in this very sad moment and sending my love to all the French people, and to all the French ladies here.
    Paris is and will always be the city of Light and it will always shine not matter what!
    Nous sommes tous Paris! 🇫🇷❤️Manuela

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  5. So sad. So senseless.

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  6. :-( I don't understand WHY. It is so senseless.
    My heart goes out to all the people who have to suffer the loss of loved ones :-)

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  7. I live in the US. Feel horrible as we did with Charie. Je suis Charlie was our thoughts. France was our first Allie
    Too many emotions to express the grief our country feels for yours

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  8. There are no words to exprime the horrendous of what happened in Paris.
    We are in Cannes and every one is under shock and unfortunately frightened ... My heart goes to all these poor people .

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  9. I am speechless at the brutality of those second round of attacks. The have hit the heart of the City of Lights and Love. May the French people have the strength to get up again and unite against terror. We are with them- nous sommes unis, nous sommes Paris. Our thoughts are with those who are affected by these crimes.
    Katja

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  10. Just a beautiful post, dear Mai Tai. I think the whole world is grieving with Paris. My love and prayers to all. C. xxx

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  11. An attack on our free way of life anywhere is an attack on our free way of life everywhere. My heart goes out to Paris. We stand with you, France. Stay strong.

    Anna K

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  12. Thank you, dearest MaiTai, for making a place where we can cry together. Your post and photographs are beautiful. Magical, enchanting Paris. It's not right that these things happen anywhere, but in that legendary city - incomprehensible. My prayers are with the families who lost loved ones in this sudden, brutal way. May the French people stand strong against these terrorists and their mission of hate. Viv Paris. Nous sommes Paris. Vive la France.
    Fifi

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  13. Dear Mai Tai, with so much tragedy and evil in the world, you always bring beauty and class. In the end, good will win out over evil. If Paris can survive Hitler, it can survive ISIS. Je me tiens avec Paris.

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  14. I'm shocked.
    I'm speechless.
    I fear that this terrorism could destroy our way of life...
    Je suis Charlie
    Je suis Paris
    Claudia

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  15. I have no better words to offer than have already been said here. I am glad you are safe and hope all your friends and family are, too.

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  16. Inconceivable to think that we are here, yet again, writing through the tears regarding another horrific act of violence in the City of Light.
    May we all remain lionhearted against these senseless acts.
    Thoughts and condolences for the victims and families whose lives are forever changed. Nous sommes Paris.
    Prayers for peace and love, T xx

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  17. We are all so touched by your support and love, dear MT, dear american friends and dear swans.
    Below is a beautiful comment posted on the New York Time Issue November 13, 2015. Catherine.

    Blackpoodles Santa Barbara 1 day ago
    France embodies everything religious zealots everywhere hate: enjoyment of life here on earth in a myriad little ways: a fragrant cup of coffee and buttery croissant in the morning, beautiful women in short dresses smiling freely on the street, the smell of warm bread, a bottle of wine shared with friends, a dab of perfume, children paying in the Luxembourg Gardens, the right not to believe in any god, not to worry about calories, to flirt and smoke and enjoy sex outside of marriage, to take vacations, to read any book you want, to go to school for free, to play, to laugh, to argue, to make fun of prelates and politicians alike, to leave worrying about the afterlife to the dead.
    No country does life on earth better than the French.
    Paris, we love you. We cry for you. You are mourning tonight, and we with you. We know you will laugh again, and sing again, and make love, and heal, because loving life is your essence. The forces of darkness will ebb. They will lose. They always do.


    « La France représente tout ce que les fanatiques religieux du monde détestent : profiter de la vie sur Terre de plein de petites manières différentes : une tasse de café parfumé avec un croissant au beurre, de belles femmes en robes courtes qui sourient librement, l’odeur du pain chaud, une bouteille de vin partagée avec des amis, un peu de parfum, des enfants qui jouent au jardin du Luxembourg, le droit de ne pas croire en Dieu, ne pas s’inquiéter des calories, flirter et fumer et profiter du sexe hors mariage, prendre des vacances, lire n’importe quel livre, aller à l’école gratuitement, jouer, rire, se disputer, se moquer des religieux comme des hommes politiques, laisser l’inquiétude sur ce qu’il y a après la vie aux morts. Aucun pays sur Terre ne vit sur Terre mieux que les Français. Paris, nous t’aimons, nous pleurons pour toi. Tu pleures ce soir, et nous sommes avec toi. Nous savons que tu riras encore, chanteras encore, feras l’amour et guériras, car aimer la vie est en ta nature. Les forces des ténèbres reflueront. Elles perdront. Elles perdent toujours. »

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    1. I read this article too, ma chere Catherine. So true! Today I was among thousands of people, French, Danish and many others holding lights, in a Ceremony in hommage for the victims of Paris attacks. There were speeches from the Danish Prime Minister and beautiful words from the French ambassador in Copenhagen. There was also music, beautiful songs about freedom. It was overwhelming and very touching.
      Freedom will win and Paris will shine again! <3
      Manuela

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    2. Que dire que votre message est très très beau et que tous les gens devrais le lire de très beaux mots un texte très touchant qui nous prouvent que beaucoup de gens aiment la France
      Merci Merci

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    3. Oui Myriam, beaucoup de gens aiment la France. Je pense que souvent nous l'oublions et que nous mêmes ne l'aimons pas assez parfois. Soyons heureux de vivre libres dans notre beau pays et profitons de tous nos petits bonheurs journaliers. Soyons tous gardiens du vivre ensemble en ne laissant pas une minorité de fanatiques sanguinaires manipulés détruire notre richesse.

      Nous connaissons les beaux passages de la Bible et beaucoup moins ceux du Coran, pourtant on y trouve de l'amour et du respect. Je ne tends pas l'autre joue mais je tends la main à ceux qui nous aiment et nous respectent.
      Catherine

      "Celui qui a tué un homme qui n'a commis aucune violence sur terre, ni tué, c'est comme s'il avait tué tous les hommes. Celui qui sauve un seul innocent, c'est comme s'il avait sauvé l'humanité tout entière" (Coran, V, 32)

      "Ne tuez pas la personne humaine, car Allah l'a déclarée sacrée." (Coran, VI,151)

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  18. So shocking, sad and uncomprehensible, to take innocent lives like that.
    My personal tribute and act of defiance - to enjoy life to its fullest, each day, every day.
    Just like this beautiful blog has thought me to appreciate beauty and sophistication, the posts from Paris provided inspiration and pride of shared heritage and values.
    We are Paris.
    Aneta

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  19. With love and condolences to all that have been affected by this senseless act. Nous sommes Paris.

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  20. Sigh... no matter how much anyone tries to scare me away from Paris, it will never happen. I will not give up pleasure, nor beauty, nor joy...
    love,
    Janice

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  21. Dear MaiTai, I am so sad this happened. Our hearts go out to you; we support the good people of France. Nous sommes Paris. Laura in Alaska

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  22. Dear Mai Tai;

    So well said... we are speechless... such brutality and horreur.. but behind the tears there is our firm determination that we are not going to be defeated by fanatism and intolerance... Paris has been deeply hurted but for all that represents to the rest of the world ( freedom, beauty, tolerance) We are all to give her (I always think of Paris as her) our love and support, and of course continuing visit it as much as we can.

    Ladies, take care, and Mai Tai thanks you for allow us to be togueter in you "home", from differnt parts of the world, in this time of sorrow.

    Warms regards from Barcelona

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  23. Nous sommes Paris. From Kentucky, USA.

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  24. Dear May Tai,

    Awful and this should never happen in a democracy and yet it does. It's so sad to think that these evil fanatics will only listen to hard talk and I hope the UN countries come together to destroy the evilness at the root. It's been such a long time that I posted something in the comments as motherhood and two house moves made life so busy but this is something that of course grabbed my attention (how could it not) and it is almost beyond belief that this has happened. With all my heart I hope Paris and France will recover from this atrocity. Love always, Chantal xxx

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  25. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and friends. Words are not able to express the pain.
    Fluctuat nec mergitur
    #parisisaboutlife

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  26. The forces of darkness shall never overcome the City of Light.
    Love always, Azalie

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  27. we are all so sad about this.

    As always I cannot fathom why the world has gone so utterly mad. x

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  28. My heart and love goes out to the people of France in this very sad time.

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  29. Thank you for this post; our thoughts and prayers are with our dear friends in Paris, our Parisian business colleagues, and indeed all of the French nation. We shall never give up in our fight against terror. We are with you, our dear France. s

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  30. I am so sorry. My family were in Paris during the attack (but not in the areas where they happened.) As a foreigner it was impossible to find words to express my feelings - sorry is woefully inadequate for the people who lost their lives and their families who must carry on.

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  31. Dearest MaiTai,
    My heart is bursting with tears for the victims and their loved ones.
    Like the lion, strength and courage will once again roar and tower over the cowardice and the horrendous crimes of these unthinkable acts. My deepest prayers to all.
    Nous sommes Paris. Scarf Enthusiast xx

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  32. Dear MaiTai!
    Black Friday. My husband woke me up and he told me what had happened. We were/are shocked.
    We love Paris, we love France and we love Europe. We cry for Paris. I know Paris (and all of us) will laugh again, and sing again, and make love, and heal.

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  33. Nous sommes Paris.
    Je suis chien.
    With Love from Nashville, TN

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  34. I just returned from Paris (via London) tonight. I was there on Friday when the bastards slaughtered innocent people and terrorized Paris for the second time in less than a year. I saw many of the beautiful faces of those who died in terror and pain.

    Fortunately, we had just returned to our hotel and were safely tucked away in our lovely room when frantic texts started rolling in from family and friends, "Are you safe? Are you okay? Please let us know you are safe. Please get back to us as soon as you can. We're worried sick." We had no idea of what was happening around us. The news teams were not feeding live as they were in the US, so we had to depend on continual text messages from family to keep us informed.

    We heard that they immediately closed the borders. We wondered if we would be able to get out of France. We were urged to call the American Embassy in Paris to let them know our exact location. We tried; we couldn't get through. At one point we heard that if the attacks continued, our military would come in and evacuate us (I believe now that was simply a rumor!) We heard that the police had finally stormed the concert hall. We heard that the death toll continuted to climb and that the ambulances waiting to get to the scene stretched for more than half a mile. We were urged to shelter in place. We did. It was an uneasy night, punctuated continuously with sirens. I wasn't afraid; I was furious and sad for a city I happen to love.

    We did venture our cautiously the next morning to a very sad and somber Paris. There was none of the usual Saturday joie de vivre on the streets. In fact, until late afternoon the streets were nearly empty. We didn't see any of the 1,200 additional military that had been immediately deployed to Paris, but all the monuments, museums, the large department stores and many of the smaller shops were closed, along with several of the Metro stations. The churches conducted special services to comfort a grieving and terrified Paris. The "Marseilles" was sung at Notre Dame - a rare occurence. People were lighting candles by the dozens. I lit one in the church of Saint Germain des Pres. I hoped it wasn't some terrible gaffe - I'm not Catholic, but somehow it seemed necessary to show one's respect. That night the Eiffel Tower went dark. Paris could not have endured its frivilous twinkling lights - not on that night. Now it is lit in the tri colore in solidarity.

    I don't know when the funerals will begin and . . . end. I don't know when Paris and France will begin to heal from this latest tragedy, especially since the attacks are ongoing today and promised for the future in Paris and now New York and Washington, DC. It's heartbreaking to think that, perhaps, we will now have to live in fear and unease for the rest of our lives - that this will become the norm and a world that our children will come to know all too well.

    May justice be dealt harshly to those who threaten us and our way of life wherever in the world that may be. (What I really want to say is that I hope they rot in hell!) And, may we find a way to live courageously and without fear.

    Love to all of you and to, of course, Paris,
    Jerrine

    PS - The night after the attacks, we returned to a favorite bistro in the 10th arr. In the taxi on the way back to the hotel, we drove by the Bataclan where hundreds were keeping a candle light vigil. Only then did we realize that we had been just a few blocks away the night before and after the atrocity. There but for the grace of God . . .

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    1. Jerrine, I was worried not to read you here, now I know why….I am so sorry you had to went through all this nightmare.
      I hope one day you will be able to come back, I wish Paris will make you dream again and that we could meet all together. A swan worldwide congress in the City of Lights, imagine….and of course, MaiTai as our speaker in chief!

      Silky feathers’ stroke,
      Catherine

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    2. Dear Jerrine,
      I had wondered why you hadn't commented this post.
      Thank God you are ok!
      I have two friends who were in Paris last Friday not far from the concert place.
      I'm glad you are back! Warm hugs, Manuela

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    3. Be assured your candle was most certainly not a terrible gaffe, but a show of faith--a single candle can bring light to darkness and hope to many. I'm glad you are safe.

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    4. Mon cher, have no fear. Nothing will keep me away from Paris. As long as I'm young enough to walk over those murderous cobblestones, I will be back.

      If we don't live our lives as we want and enjoy what we love, we let them win. Fear is their greatest weapon. It's exactly what they're aiming for - to see us cowering and afraid. I will not give them the satisfaction.

      And yes, a most definite yes, to le grand congrès de la Société des Cygnes . . . in Paris, of course, with the loveliest swan of all at the helm.

      Love to you,
      Jerrine

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    5. Jerrine, I am so happy and relieved to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your experience in Paris with us. I have yet to visit Paris, but I hold it in my heart. Catherine, I look forward to the Swan Convention!
      Warm aloha and hugs,
      Fifi

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    6. Manuela, thank you for worrying about me - you're very sweet. I hope your friends are both okay, as well. I wasn't particularly frightened - just mad as a wet swan for what they did!

      And, Greta, thank you for reassuring me about the candle lighting. It just seemed necessary to make some sort of gesture, regardless of how small.

      Love to you both,
      Jerrine

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  35. What happened last Friday in Paris is not only against France but against the beliefs of all the countries in the western hemisphere. We are not only democracies we are republics. So our republican ethos was attacked. I am Argentine and our National Coat of Arms represents part of the French image of the Republic. I am sorry for the attacks. I feel them in my soul. Vive la France!

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  36. And it continues to Bamako.....
    Well, they wanted to afraid people, its done!!!

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  37. Mesdames
    Contrairement a tout se qui est dit un peu partout les frontières de la France ne sont pas fermées mais beaucoup plus de surveillance se qui est tout a fais normal .
    Continuez d'aimer la France et d'y venir nous vous attendons .Moi aussi j'ai eue très peur mes enfants étaient au stade de France vendredi dernier ouf tout vas bien
    Merci de m'avoir lu et je rejoint Catherine a quand une rencontre de toutes les amies de Maitai
    Bises a toutes Myriam

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  38. Chere Myriam,
    Je suis tres heureuse que vos enfants son bien et je peut imaginer l'angoisse que vous avez senti. Je retournerais toujours à Paris!
    Amitiés, Manuela <3

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    1. Merci chère Manuela
      Paris sera toujours Paris
      J'y serais 15 jours pour les fêtes mais se sera triste
      Amitiés

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  39. Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts, sentiments and sadness, and for your friendship, support and solidarity. I went to Paris last weekend. The city is grieving, wounded and empty, but there is no doubt that she will sparkle again.. with regained strength. Warmest hugs, MT

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