My husband and I had planned a couples weekend in London. Our little one got sick on Wednesday, I got sick on Thursday evening. Stomach flu, or 'un gastro' as they call it in France. My husband spent his Friday morning hoping I would get better, and his Friday afternoon trying to get reimbursed for the train we didn't take, the hotel we didn't use, and the event we didn't attend. I was in bed by 8pm exhausted and finally able to sleep after being awake all of the previous night. I woke up Saturday morning to a slew of texts and facebook messages. I replied to each and every one of them without knowing yet what had happened. 'Yes, we were fine, sorry, I was sick and didn't see the message.' Then I read the news.
Everyone I knew had checked in, they were all fine, it didn't happen in my neighborhood. As my husband says, it's unlikely to be a targeted neighborhood, it's too colorful here. But still, I find (not found, because it's still happening) myself going through the stages of grief. Buy why am I grieving, what right do I have to grieve, I asked myself? This isn't 9/11, I haven't lost anyone, I don't even know that many people in Paris. Shock and disbelief were quickly followed by blame. Why the hell didn't someone, somewhere know this was going to happen, I said to my husband and mother-in-law. Why aren't known radicalized individuals' activities being followed? How could 'they' let this happen?
Now, I'm just sad. Sad that the world can be so mean. Sad that such hateful humans exist. Sad that I no longer feel safe in my Paris, the place where, just a few months ago when debating about gun control, I used to exemplify how safe one can feel, even in a shitty neighborhood, because guns are so hard to get. I'm sad that I'm afraid. Sad that I now want to know how many mosques exist in my neighborhood that are known for having radicalized imams. Sad that I don't trust people on the streets anymore. Sad that I don't want to take the metro. Sad that as I was having a hot chocolate with my family in a cafe yesterday, I kept wondering if someone was going to drive by with machine guns. What right do I have to be so upset about all of this when people all over the world live with the same fear every. single. day.? I don't know. I am still processing.
I'm teaching a yoga class tonight. I don't know if I'll get through it without crying. I don't know what I'm going to teach, or what I'm going to say about the events this weekend. I do not have a message of love and light and happiness. I am no where near as positive as this amazing young woman.
I am not evolved.
What I will do tonight, is welcome everyone, in whatever state of grief they are in and give them the space to experience it. I will give and receive hugs from anyone who needs to give or get a hug. I will get there early and stay late. I will listen to anyone who needs to be heard. I will give everything I can muster so they feel a little safer or a bit lighter than when they stepped onto the mat. I will try to invoke the humanity that links us all together. I will chant Shanti Ommmm and truly hope for peace on earth. I am not evolved, but I am doing my best to get there.
Former San Francisco DNA wrangler and current Paris pretzel. Musings, reviews and general information on Paris Yoga.