From Place de la République
From Place de la République

I was going to write a poem about this important moment for Paris and France because it is difficult to capture the many thoughts and sentiments that the Charlie Hebdo incident provokes  (an apparent lack of talent, and a reality check dissuaded me from doing so).

However,  in encountering the difficulty of articulating the space between thought and the written word made me appreciate what Charlie Hebdo achieves through its satirical work.

Charlie Hebdo articulates the liminal, those in-between spaces that do not easily lend themselves to the written or spoken word: gasps, sighs, silences, the unsayable.

Paris is palpably saddened for reasons that fall into that space that defies definition. It would be great to have a sketch, a cartoon, caricature to capture this moment.

In one regard, it is an offensive assault on the values that French people (and others who have moved here)  hold dear: the liberty to be and to say, the sense of equality and a jealously protected togetherness in the defense of those values.

Yet, beyond being a personal affront, the Charlie Hebdo incident provokes sober reflection on much more complex philosophical, political,religious questions not to be explored here or now.

It is a sad moment for the city and for the country partly because of the injustice of seeing mischievous, boyish souls lose their lives at the hands of feckless cowards.

For those who knew them well, it probably is an even more confusing moment that will never find resolution.

How inadequate words are in capturing the sense of sorrow that currently pervades Paris. However, one hopes that present  sorrow will evolve into a series of hopeful horizons, although there is equal chance of  sorrow devolving into cynicism and anger.  This blogger fervently hopes for the former.