Thank you to all of you who called, sent e mails and texted messages from Germany, Italy, Mexico, the USA, Great Britain, New Zealand and China. Each little message is like one of the thousand candles lit in the city of Paris on Saturday night, it is the proof that we still breathe,  think and fight.

Our heart goes to all the Foreign friends who wrote and called. Thank you and keep visiting Paris!

Our heart goes to all the foreign friends who wrote and called. Thank you and keep visiting Paris!

Famous French pianist and conductor Bruno Rigutto was saying on France Musique Radio Saturday morning, that only culture (and music especially) could save us from the savages who committed these crimes. Culture, the main focus of this blog and my passion.

So many stories have filtered from friends in one week end. The friend who lives next door to the Carillon café and leaves her keys to the wonderful Algerian owner. Her daughter saw everything from the window and she could not get back home. The girlfriend who arrived late at Stade de France because she had an accident on the way. At 9.20pm, she is presenting her tickets at the entrance and she hears a first detonation followed by two more. By that time she decides to go home and feels that maybe she should of helped in some way. Well no Emilie, you were right to leave.

In Shanghai, a tribute to France

In Shanghai, a tribute to France, photo Elisabeth de Gramont

My niece Colombe and her husband Patrick were attending the performance of « Ca ira(1) Fin de Louis » at Théâtre des Amandiers in Nanterre. The play by Joël Pommerat, concentrates on the fundamentals of Democracy and the first years of the French Revolution. A four hour political play, where protagonists are seated among the public and dressed in today’s clothes. No decor, only the presence of Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, the “Tiers Etat” (the future National Assembly). Everyone debates of the freedom of the people and the unavoidable violence in order to reach democracy. During the second intermission, at 10 pm, the first text messages arrive with the horrific news. The theatre is full. And the play resumes. Terrorism, violence, religion, are all part of the text. They are a cruel echo to what is going on outside.

At midnight, everyone leaves the theatre, subways are closed, there are no taxis and no Uber cars. “We have to jump into the nearest hotel and spend the night there with a large part of the cast and many friends. Debates go on until 3 am in front of TV. Actor Yannick Choirat, who plays Louis XVI th ‘s finance minister, reminds us of the last sentence in the play when the king tells his entourage « Ca ira, vous verrez, ça ira… » (things will be ok, you’ll see) while the angry people of Paris are nearing Versailles. Every night, the public had laughed at his naiveté. Tonight nobody laughed… we were witnessing  the end of a world that was no more.” The terrorists attacked our youth in a concert hall and at café terraces on Friday night. they aimed at the trendiest night spots and bo-bo hang outs. Most of the deads are under 40.

The SIdney opera on November 15 th

The Sydney opera on November 15 th

But life goes on in Paris, we will always be here to welcome you, when you come and visit!

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7 Comments on “THANK YOU!”

  1. Joanna and Edmund

    Wonderful and reassuring to get your Paris diary just now. Our thoughts and prayers have been with you and all your family as well as everyone who was involved in this diabolical crimes. with much love from us both Joanna

  2. Lucy

    Laure thank you. Your rapid reply to our worried email was, true to form, reassuring. Particularly kind as you have many friends and therefore many to respond to. We sit in London glued to reports and with our hearts full of love for our French friends. We know how this feels all too well in London but admire your resolve. We were last in Paris for the first time with our grown up children on the day after Charlie Hebdo and marched along with Parisians that Sunday. We are there now in spirit and send you lots of love xxxxx

  3. patrick marnham

    Thank you Laure for your newsletter. The article on the Borders exhibition was really good. I am so glad you and your friends and family are safe.

    Patrick x

  4. Michael

    Hi Laure,

    Very glad to know you’re alright. I’m haunted, as everyone is, by the events of last week. The one thing I can think to do is come to Paris as I would anyway – for joy – and not be deterred by depraved terrorists. All best….

  5. Pat Patkau

    Laure, thank you for this diary page. I find it hard, as many people do I would imagine, to speak of or fully comprehend the events in Paris. I think mostly about the why. Young people carrying out such unspeakable actions against unknown others. Just as with the last elections in Canada, all I can really think of doing is working locally, in this case to try and understand what is causing such support among young people for an organization like ISIS, the intolerance, anger and savagery necessary to view others as targets. I haven’t been involved politically at all until this year… until our last federal election (I worked to help get rid of Stephen Harper, a prime minister who had badly distorted our democracy). The success of that election has made me realize that we can, individually, actually participate in a small way in making the society that we believe in. So many have felt disenfranchised for so long. While there is the immediate need to protect people from terrorism and deal with ISIS, there is also the long haul… the need to educate people about the why, to uncover the roots that transform apparently ‘normal’ (as the media claims) young people into terrorists. With that knowledge comes a power for all of us to act locally in our own small ways, in our communities, on our own streets, in our schools. My hope for Canada is that it returns to policies that support the common good as we used to, stronger universal health care, more accessible public education, greater opportunities for young people, care for others etc. This is a long post but I can’t help but think that all these things are related. interwoven.
    Culture in its broadest sense is engaged in the fight!

  6. Karen Millet

    Beautifully written and inspiring. I do hope that culture will prevail over savagery but sometimes my spirits are low . You always manage to life them up!

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