I spoke to a young French national late last night. He’d just returned from the Charlie Hebdo vigil in London’s Trafalgar Square, still in shock, still processing.
For the first time in his short life he felt his country bear the pain of attack, the wound of being deeply hurt, of feeling that visceral body-blow felt and shared by New York, Mumbai, London, Sydney, and many, many more.
The situation is still unfolding some 24 hours later, as I write.
There will be innumerable lines of analysis and anger written in reaction to what has happened. A wealth of opinion dedicated to the blood spilt to silence the flow of artist’s ink.
All I can hold onto to is this: how people have gathered in their thousands around Europe and the world, to join vigils, to show solidarity, to bear witness and reveal their empathy.
How we stand unbowed and unbroken.
Pens and pencils aloft.
We have the power to come together, to connect and give comfort and love to each other. These tragedies reveal the boundless capacity for good in the majority of people, in the face of the evil revealed in the scant few.
Love and kindness must, will, prevail.
We are being called to ensure that it does.
(I was once, briefly, a (really bad) published cartoonist. Original artwork, inspired by @LucilleClerc)