Where the Light Gets In

By DHThomas

Last post (not mine!)

each year a call to
the souls of the departed
their flame still burns high

"Not mine" in the title refers both to the fact that this is indeed not my last post, and also to signal, if need be, that the photo is not mine but was  taken by James L. Stanfield - in Poland.

On Sunday, as you all know, there were big celebrations of the last day of World War One, the world over. As I am French, but also because the biggest and ugliest battles (as if some battles could be any less ugly than others...) were fought in this country, I paid more attention to what went on in Paris.

I didn't watch but listened on the radio. I thought it was a rather dignified ceremony, with letters read by young people from England, Germany and even China besides a French one, beautiful music (Bach, Ravel among others but also a song by Angélique Kidjo who paid homage to the African troops (the Colonial Corps) who took part in WWI).

I was rather moved by the letters, almost to tears, especially by one that ended with the message that guns had shut up forever. In retrospect, this teaches us that geopolitics are unstable at most and a war is unfortunately never far. It resonates even more these days. Président Macron stated in his address that this was the time for the reinforcement of international cooperation, of UNO, of the EU. A direct blow to an unnamed president of the USA who only believes in one-on-one relationships, has withdrawn his country from international agreements, wants to physically isolate his country at its southern border. He also said "patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism", considering patriotism as the defence of universal moral values while nationalism is a petty "me first" that has no moral bearing.

I agree with this; however he also called for world peace (not in these exact words, mind you) and he's hosting a World Peace Forum for a few day in Paris. How come we're still one of the worlds big arms exporters, if France is so attached to peace? How come we still sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and our President tells us not to mix things when there's a call to a ban of our exports because of what has happened to Jamal Kashoggi in his own embassy in Turkey? I call hypocrisy!

Enough with ranting though. On Saturday night, we had a lovely evening at the crêperie with our neighbours, Kay and Mike. And I'm now at S2E4 in Peaky Blinders. Thanks Stu for making me discover the series, I love it!

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