As I watched the horror unfold yesterday, each second smoke poured from the roof of the cathedral I worried about the loss of even the tiniest piece of history. As the fire raged on I feared the worst like so many others. It wasn’t sinking in just yet. It couldn’t be as bad as it looked, even though I knew it was. A few hours in I received a call from my dear friend Michele, who was with me the first time I visited Notre Dame. I had traveled to France that year reluctantly. There were so many places I had dreamed about visiting, Paris wasn’t even on the list. But there I was, a very ignorant New Yorker in the City of Lights, studying it’s history, drawing my way through. To say that I was speechless the day I entered Notre Dame would be a vast understatement. The second I stepped through the hallowed entrance I felt the life it held within vibrating off the walls, from the vaulted ceiling, from every inch of it’s existence. I understood the concept of sanctuary like never before. Every generation deals with their moment in history and learns to carry on. Eight centuries might as well have been a minute in the cathedrals life, and mine was but a fraction of a second. For those seconds I felt as safe, hopeful, and optimistic as I could ever feel. I put my pen in my bag and breathed in the life that Notre Dame emanated with. Days went by and I quickly realized how arrogantly unknowing I was of why I needed to be there at that point in my life. When my wife joined me for the second half of the discovery, I couldn’t wait to witness it with her. We ran through the streets of Paris and added every moment we could to our story. We walked quietly through Notre Dame together, solemnly venturing off from each other from time to time to respect it on our own terms and coming back together, lighting a candle and shedding a tear for the countless prayers we had flowing though our hearts. Today our prayers go out to Paris, to France, to Notre Dame, and to the next 800 years of it’s existence. —Dominick
Well said,. Vivre Notre Dame de Paris.