Around 5 years ago I took a much anticipated trip to Turkey. This trip was the start of a spiritual journey that has seen me evolve and change over the last few years. This journey was the start of my voyage of discovery including the joys of “being Kylie”.
At the end of the holiday I treated myself to 4 days in Paris. Granted, heading west to come home from Istanbul seemed a little odd. But the lure of this wondrous city, with her architecture, her art, her culture, her food and her very Parisian-ness was irresistible.
I spent my time wandering her streets, breathing in the lightness and richness that defines this glorious ode to romance. Most of the time I was alone; although I did spend some amazing time with some friends from Australia and met the most marvellous English lady on the roof of Notre Dame. My attempts at the delicious French language were passable and even brought the odd nod of appreciation from the notoriously haughty Parisians.
Truly, I felt that God (whoever you perceive him or her to be), had looked upon this city with an indulgent smile and imbued it with such grace that there were times I felt like I could hide myself away in her artistic bosom and never return to the real world. Small wonder all those extraordinary artists lingered within her warm embrace. I too lingered in the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay drinking in their treasures. I sat in Notre Dame as the melodic sounds of Sunday mass echoed around me, rapturous harmonies bouncing from her mighty vaulted ceilings.
Now, as I and the rest of the world, look with horror on the atrocities committed in Paris and in other cities last week, all in the name of Allah, I feel a weariness and sadness deep within my soul; that very soul that had been so enriched by memories of the city of light. That same soul that has, so recently, experienced the best in humanity and its generous beating heart in Italy. That same soul that sighs in tune with almost all of humanity at the senselessness of it all.
Throughout my travels, I have come to realise that at our very core, almost all human beings desire very similar things. Most of us want to live in a world that is fair and equitable. Most of us want enough food and shelter to satisfy our Maslow needs. Every father wants their child to be a responsible person. Every mother longs to see her children mature into kind and considerate adults. Every child wants a life where fresh water and education are not luxuries but every day occurrences. Almost all of us want our loved ones to be safe and to live long, peaceful lives.
I say almost because there lives amongst us a minority that want none of that. They bang their drums and beat their chests claiming righteously that they fight a holy war in the name of their god. They believe that it is their right to kill innocents in the name of their holy war.
This is not my version of God.
This is not my version of holy.
This is not the fight of those poor souls in Paris; or Lebanon; or Syria; or Kenya.
There is no war for those lost in the Twin Towers in New York; or on the streets of London; or in the Lindt café in Sydney.
These criminals do not speak for me.
They do not speak for most of humanity.
They speak with hatred in their hearts and misdirected passion.
They speak with guns and bombs and knives and vitriol.
They speak through social media.
Where does the world hurt?