You know we were there this summer. To visit family, friends and the city itself. You may also know, if you've known me for a long, long time that I am so not a Francophile. But this attack caused a pain in my heart. Probably one that would not have existed had I not walked Parisian streets and eaten at Parisian cafés. As I wrote to some American friends who live there for half of each year: This hurts in a way the Hebdo and supermarket ones did not. There was a twisted, evil [but] understandable logic -- which in all wild murders holds only for an atomic moment. But now that I've seen Paris, and now that it is not an abstraction, and that there were dozens of indiscriminate many ... The French republic will be brutal, dark and swift in its reprisals. I fear that the geopolitical axis has shifted towards another major war.
A blow to one of the world's great cities (and not all large cities are great cities -- Los Angeles or Dublin being cases in point) is a mortal blow to our common humanity. I've lived in one and been to a few others and the time spent in each and every one -- whether it has been years or days -- has been a gift that has changed me.