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Notre-Dame 


More than a cathedral, Notre Dame is a container for our collective soul. Regardless of faith or nationality, she has been the receptacle for millions of our prayers, dreams, and meditations. She has inspired our poems, art, and imaginations. She has hosted our proposals, weddings, funerals, vacations, memories, and reunions. She has served as a portal to our shared history. 

Tonight she reminds us to hold sacred what is here, now. To appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, and the people we love. Just because something existed before us doesn’t mean it will exist forever. 

Notre Dame will be repaired, as she was after the revolution. Once again we will study her rainbow rosette, gazing through the eyes of countless humans across the time-space continuum, marveling at the way the dust sparkles like friendly spirits overhead. We will climb her narrow stairs to emerge, breathless, at the Paris skyline, sharing membership to the most beautiful city in the world. We will perhaps be even more grateful, more reverent, knowing what we lost, and knowing what we still have. 

Until then, let us hold space for each other, and tend to this weary world soul. We love you, Paris.

Current inspiration: Mary Oliver 

I Worried 
by Mary Oliver 

I worried a lot.  Will the garden grow, will the rivers 
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn 
as it was taught, and if not how shall 
I correct it? 

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, 
can I do better? 

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows 
can do it and I am, well, 
hopeless. 

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it, 
am I going to get rheumatism, 
lockjaw, dementia? 

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing. 
And gave it up.  And took my old body 
and went out into the morning, 
and sang. 

From Swan

Current inspiration: "Vissi d'Arte"  

Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore, 
non feci mai male ad anima viva! 
Con man furtiva 
quante miserie conobbi aiutai. 
Sempre con fè sincera 
la mia preghiera 
ai santi tabernacoli salì. 
Sempre con fè sincera 
diedi fiori agl’altar. 
Nell’ora del dolore 
perchè, perchè, Signore, 
perchè me ne rimuneri così? 
Diedi gioielli della Madonna al manto, 
e diedi il canto agli astri, al ciel, 
che ne ridean più belli. 
Nell’ora del dolor 
perchè, perchè, Signor, 
ah, perchè me ne rimuneri così? 

*

I lived for my art, I lived for love, 
I never did harm to a living soul! 
With a secret hand 
I relieved as many misfortunes as I knew of. 
Always with true faith 
my prayer 
rose to the holy shrines. 
Always with true faith 
I gave flowers to the altar. 
In the hour of grief 
why, why, o Lord, 
why do you reward me thus? 
I gave jewels for the Madonna’s mantle, 
and I gave my song to the stars, to heaven, 
which smiled with more beauty. 
In the hour of grief 
why, why, o Lord, 
ah, why do you reward me thus?