Saturday, November 14th I texted my friend Romie to confirm that we were still on for a walk in the labyrinth that sits in a public park close to my home. She wrote back that she would pick me up at 1:00 and that we would be walking with Paris and Humanity.
“Great!” I replied. “By the way, who are Paris and Humanity?” I thought maybe she was bringing along some four-legged friends. She responded that I had apparently been unplugged from Friday evening’s nonstop news broadcasts about the simultaneous suicide bombings at a rock concert, soccer stadium, and public restaurants in the heart of Paris.
I went onto Facebook and immediately noticed how many of my Friends faces were covered with BLUE, WHITE and RED as a symbol of solidarity. I almost clicked “change my picture” too . . . and then reflected for a moment. The French flag across my face could just as easily be interpreted as my support for French President Francois Hollande’s reactionary declaration of WAR and warranting immediate retaliation. Violence begets violence and terror. Terrorism is a symptom of seething horror and desperation that distorts our perception. We become what we hate. How does this end the war against terror?
What matters most in times like this are the choices each of us make at each turn of this labyrinth we call LIFE. When confronted with horror I seek to follow the call of those heroes and heroines of Humanity who have gone before me into the maze of fear, reactivity, spin and lies. Those brave souls who have already discovered the center of the labyrinth and call out from the truth of our collective core.
Like 22 year old Isobel Bowdrey who was shot in the Parisian concert hall Friday night. She says on her Facebook post:
“…As i lay down in the blood of strangers and waiting for my bullet to end my mere 22 years, I envisioned every face that I have ever loved and whispered I love you. over and over again. reflecting on the highlights of my life. Wishing that those i love knew just how much, wishing that they knew that no matter what happened to me, to keep belieivng in the good in people. to not let those men win. Last night, the lives of many were forever changed and it is up to us to be better people…”
So, Romie and I walked the labyrinth with Paris and Humanity. We walked with Life and Death and All Souls who are walking the twists and turns, through a maze full of distractions, into the center of deep truth. Love. Courage. Strength. Compassion . . . the Great Mystery that inspires healing during this epic life we each are graced to live every day.