July 14th, France


Middle of the night. Something ringing, is it the door, the phone? 3am…Who is it? Is this the moment my life changes forever, someone I love is in trouble, or worse?

My husband gets up and answers a phone, goes into another room and shuts the door…no sound, no movement…eons pass, maybe it was just a wrong number? Want to know, don’t want to know. Pray. Can’t stand it, get up, find him in the dark and ask, “What’s happening?”

It’s our daughter calling from the US to make sure we’re ok. A truck has rammed into the crowd on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, families watching the fireworks, dozens killed.

Strange. Before I went to sleep I was listening to Krista Tippet’s 2003 interview with Thich Nhat Hanh, “Being Peace in a World of Trauma.” He was telling what it was like to be in Viet Nam in the 60’s when the US military wanted to “bomb it back to the Stone Age” “destroy the town to save it”…Before the US, the French were there… In his book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, he writes that all life is a miracle, in a world full of suffering, suffering is what makes beauty, understanding, and compassion possible, mindfulness allows us to understand and react in the best way…

Every time I hear this, my heart cries, no!  How can we accept so much suffering? In Europe and the US,  we know there are vilains among us, multinationals destroying the land, the water, and local agriculture all over the world, arms manufacturers and bankers making money from war… We have a colonial past with centuries of slave trade, our armies are dropping bombs on civilians in Syria… I understand the rage but I can’t accept deliberate execution of innocents no matter how I look at it.

Is there no way to stop the circle of slaughter?

To be continued…

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