Julie Svay: Written from Rueil-Malmaison, the imperial city of Napoléon and Joséphine Bonaparte, near Paris, France, on lockdown J+32. And inspired by the emotions awakened by Saarah Choudhury’s Lockdown post: ‘Duet between a widow and her husband, Post 2020’

What words can I share after such lines … ?

Lately, someone blamed me for three simple words of mine, “I am fine“, because how can someone feel fine in such dramatic times? So many are in grief, fear or depression.

For reasons, good or bad, here we are; confined and little by little deprived of our freedoms – from going out (for more than one hour daily, authorized reasons only), from the warmth of gathering (so important to our elders), and to parks and places of green – our connections with nature.

Then, why not take the chance of these suspended times to reconnect with our profound beings? And through this inner journey face our shadows, and despite it all why not allow ourselves to reconnect with the beauty of each simple moment? And more than ever, the beauty of living?

It is springtime here, glycine and lilac trees blooming along the walls in the city gardens. Few cars pass on the usually congested and noisy roadway, allowing the breeze to bring scents of flowers and the sound of buzzing bees.

In the quietness of the evening I walk along the (forbidden) banks of the Seine. Sitting on a pier I send a prayer to its green flowing waters … a prayer of no religion but for our humanity, in the unexplained hope to fill the water with consolation and love; to carry along in its journey from the sea to the clouds, from the rains to the sources, and to the drinking water we welcome in our bodies.

Maybe it does not take more to feel fine. Maybe we can all learn, day after day. There must be lighthouses that stand before the dark and stormy sea, to remain us silently that there is hope until the Flower Moon light and the signs of dawn …

On my way back there are cherry trees in bloom, like the trees that you see in Japan, with an old Mercedes car parked beneath. It’s after a storm of thunder and rain and the vehicle is covered with pink petals, a ‘wedding car’.


April 17, 2020.