A RETURN TO NORMALCY
As Paris tries to return to some semblance of normalcy, as people try to get back into the rhythm of their lives, I cannot help but reflect upon my time spent writing there last summer and thinking about my coming visit, planned for this spring. But always in the back of my mind is the thought that for the families of those whose lives were so tragically cut short by the horrors of the last few days, there can never be a return to normalcy. The senseless atrocities of three barbaric individuals have changed their lives forever. Having lived in Europe for so many years now, I have experienced quite a number of different terrorist phases, from the leftist activities in the 1980’s to the right-wing radicals and the current pseudo-religious atrocities. There has always been an underlying threat of violence at the hands of the intolerant, the fundamentalists and the depraved ideologies that it would seem have never moved out of their Medieval mentalities.
Whether walking around in the city in which I currently live, pursuing my daily routine, or immersing myself in those wonderful times when I become the Flâneur in Paris and wander on foot all through the many arrondissements, there is always that small corner of caution in the back of my mind that heightens my awareness, expands my observations and keeps me on my toes for the unexpected. No, you cannot live in fear, you cannot let those feelings rise to the surface, but you also cannot live in mindless bliss to the insanity that ignorant hate-filled bastards are prepared to unleash on innocent people. I have written elsewhere of that strange and magical paradox that Paris always is to me, that each time when I return I find a different Paris, yet the same Paris I have known for all these years. When I return again later this year it will once again envelop me in that paradox, but in a small sense for me and in a much larger sense for those who have suffered the loss of their loved ones, Paris will never be the same…
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