Notre-Dame, Our Lady
This post is in reaction to the fire that occurred at Notre-Dame de Paris. Learn more about it here.
Logically, I shouldn't be as affected by the fire in Notre-Dame as I have been.
I've never been to Paris (even though I've longed to). I never did a school project on Notre-Dame, studied the architecture, learned of the history of the art that contributes to its beauty.
Logically, it is a building, and buildings burn. Fires happen. I know this. So why does my heart ache so deeply?
Immediately after I learned that the fire had started, I turned to social media, where my newsfeed was nearly 100% about the sadness people were feeling over the growing losses.
It was clear that I wasn't alone in feeling the heartbreak. Sadly enough, this seemed odd, given the typical divisiveness and callousness / complacency of reactions over tragedies.
I started to wonder - why were we feeling this so deeply? Why was I feeling this so deeply?
I wrote a Facebook post about this that garnered a fascinating collection of responses.
I'll leave that post below for those who don't follow me on Facebook, and I’d love to know your thoughts.
(If you are on Facebook, I posted both on my BeingBreath page and my personal page, where I made the post public. Most comments happened on my personal path - you can view the comments here.)
This is what I wrote ... let me know if it resonates with you.
This is to those who are feeling the burning as deeply as I am.
I read ongoing stories of the burning of Notre-Dame, and am somewhat surprised by the massive outpouring of shock, love, and heartbreak. I understand the loss of history of this beautiful place - the structure, the art, the religious and cultural significance. We all do, on a logical level. And yet...
I'm not alone in feeling this on a deeper, logically inexplicable level. A heart-level, a soul-piercing level.
Here is where I teeter on my own cliff of crazy.
I've long resided in the city of logic. I know its strong walls quite well, am comforted by them. And,
I hear the siren calls of mystery, of magic, of deep ancestral calls and cries.
When I am affected beyond reason by stories like this, I can't help but listen to those calls and climb beyond the walls of logic.
Here's what happens:
- I decided to do an internet search on the "significance of Notre-Dame". One article included a mention of Joan of Arc, who was famously burned at the stake as a heretic, and that "In 1909, she was beatified in Notre-Dame by Pope Pius X".
- Listening to the call, I did another search on "date of Joan of Arc's beatification". (That is, when she could be considered "blessed".)
The result? April 18, 1909. Almost exactly 110 years ago today.
The fires rage on.
I do not mean to trivialize in any way the deep losses that are happening right now of the beauty, the historical relics, the spiritual space, the architecture, the heart of Paris, - all of it.
I mean to whisper, amidst all of the tears over the burning, the yelling around the world, the anger and hatred and sadness and wailing .... I whisper, "holy shit."
Because I am deeply moved by what is outside the City of Logic.
-- Beauty is burning. This is a metaphor and very real.
-- Listening to one siren call at a time, I am taken into reminders (RE-MIND-ers) of the loss of feminine power, and how this reminder (created by a few random leaps down a Google rabbit hole) coincides with the messages of the Wise Women summit I've been listening to for the past few days. There is something to this fire that wants to burn away any resistance within me to continuing to give VOICE to this.
-- A very sacred space has burned into ashes. It is a tragic and beautiful metaphor. The spirit in me is doing the most magnificent of dances - slow, draped in flowing black fabrics - honoring the transition that will occur from this...and how we will choose to recognize it (or ignore it). Again, there is something to this fire that want to burn away any resistance within me to continuing to give VOICE to the sacred as I understand it, and its infusion with the mundane.
-- I celebrate the time I took to write this, the courage it takes to share something that can be seen as so woo-woo to my fellow Logic City residents, and the ATTENTION that YOU have given in reading it this far.
I continue to pause in deep breath and love for those feeling the loss of Notre-Dame, and for what we have lost as humanity through the burning of this building, its contents, and this space.
I also continue to dance on my cliff of crazy. I'll sleep tonight back in my safe, comfortable, home o' logic ... and yet, I think I'll be spending some more time outside of these walls.
I hope to see you there.