Newton Centre after dark

It was a little after 5 pm–already dark–when I heard on the radio about the terrorist attacks in Paris. I’d just left the library–the first in a series of Friday night errands–and I sat in my car, saddened and overwhelmed as I rehearsed the same litany of questions that arise in the aftermath of terror. If there, why not here? If them, why not us? Will we ever feel safe, anywhere, now that a simple Friday night at a soccer game, concert, or bistro can be shattered in an instant by explosions, gunfire, and chaos?

Oak leaf on windshield

On my way from the bank to the drugstore, I took a photo of the stylish mannequins in a Newton Centre shop window. How sad and strange to walk the dark November streets in safety while across the world, terror rules. When I got home and unpacked my bags, I was struck by the irony of one of the library books I’d checked out: a collection of photos by legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, his iconic shot of the decisive moment when a man leaps over a Paris puddle suddenly surreal in its unintentional innocence.