Prayers for Paris

Eiffel-Tower-Prayers-for-Paris“America is my country, and Paris is my hometown.”  -Gertrude Stein

A few years ago, I had the great pleasure of visiting — quite briefly — the beautiful city of Paris.  I absolutely fell in love!  It truly deserves its reputation as one of the most romantic cities on earth.  I hated to leave.  Naturally, of course, as a wedding photographer, I have had dreams of photographing a bride there for years.  (How could I not?)

Tonight, the world watched in horror as Paris was besieged by a small group of terrorists, lending a macabre presence to this jewel of a city.

I was in shock, and in tears.

My beloved Paris.

We live with the ugly realities of terrorism, some countries far more than others.  I don’t know what has to break inside a person to lead them to this kind of hate, this kind of awfulness.  I think Paris was a particularly poignant blow, as the city itself so often seems like a fairy tale.  It’s a little dream here on earth that we wish could be untouchable.  This shattered the fantasy, took over the fairy tale with a vengeance.  Reminded us there are monsters.

And it frightens us.

For myself, I always try to focus on the beauty in life.  It’s why I photograph the things I do, particularly with weddings.  I want to remember that there is beauty, love, and wonder in the world.  I want to focus on the beginnings, not the endings.  The celebrations, not the sorrows.  I want to show the natural beauty of this precious earth, and revel in all the beauty that mankind has created to honor and enrich it.  Creation, not destruction, is what I prefer to see and to help others see.

I don’t understand why anyone could want to bring about such destruction, why they prefer carnage over creation.

But I hope and pray that there are more like me, who want to remember the beauty.  Who see the love and the joy.  Especially as we enter our seasons of Thanksgiving, and my beloved Christmas, may we reach out in love, rejecting hate.  May we help those around us and create more beauty.  Let joy win.

My thoughts and prayers are with Paris.  Will you join me?

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