I feel exhausted and I am grieving.
So I took 10 minutes.
I haven’t lost a friend, I haven’t lost a member of my family. Don’t accuse me of grieving only for France just yet. I have petite shoulders and I can only grieve for so much. Don’t ask me to remove the French flag on my FB profile photo. I don’t value French lives more than I do any other lives on this planet, human or not, for that matter.
I am French, I love my country and what it represents and it’s hard not to be in France right now, not to be home. It is not at the expense at anyone else’s grief and it is not to ignore others who have died.
10 minutes is how long I had a camera in my hands on Saturday evening, on 14th, after dinner, and before the kids’ bedtime. All day, terrible news, tragedy, horrible images and accounts, emotional people. In the light of the sky that we barely saw the last 2 months, sat on the floor, I picked up my camera. I picked it up because, although it felt like it stood still for a few hours, life was happening right in front of me and it made me smile, perhaps for the first time that day.
On Friday, I went to a restaurant to have a lovely meal with a friend. Just like some of the victims that same night. On Friday I wore a short dress, just like some of the victims that same night. I had wine, just like some of the victims that same night. But I came home, and I saw my little girls again, and my husband. And I talked to my mum the day after. The victims did not.
So I feel attacked too. I feel angry and I feel devastated. But I don’t feel hate and I have tried to avoid reading all the hateful comments, violent videos posted on social medias, but it’s not always easy when they jump at you. It’s not by assuming or accusing how one person or the other values one nationality over another that it is going to make terrorists go away. It is not by judging someone who has a french flag on their profile picture or not, that the terrorists are going to go away. It’s not by letting ourselves amalgamate a whole population that the terrorists are going to go away. Quite the opposite. I am more hopeful and more positive, seeing countless messages of love, of compassion, common sense and unity, so that the world fights against this nasty criminals. We have to unite and not let them win, because it seems that humans always find a way to divide.
So let’s not. Let’s not divide and let them win.
Instead, take 10 minutes.
10 minutes to think about what unites people, no matter the differences. To look at the beautiful sky at dusk, to listen to a baby laughing and making you feel good, to feel the breeze on your face on a cool evening, to have talked to a member of your family who lives far away. To hold someone’s hand.
Here are my 10 minutes, through my lens. There is no sound but I can hear the laughter from me, my husband, my girls. It’s not much, it’s not spectacular, there’s even a blurry image or 2 in there, but to me it is love and it is damn worth fighting for.
Like Antoine Leiris beautifully and bravely said ” we are only 2, my son and I, but we are more powerful than the whole world’s armies.” and that is thanks to LOVE.