Politics in the heart – Saint-Merry

After the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency and his immediate signing of a decree ordering “the construction of a physical wall” along the border with Mexico, I felt dizzy. In France, the reception given to migrants (hundreds of people sleeping in the street downstairs, without any dignified and perennial lodging solution proposed to them) has completely revolted me.In this context, I felt the need to recharge myself and seek allies to think and build a world that would do us good to all.And I found pearls. Words, or acts that have restored my faith in our ability to work together to put ourselves at the service of justice and love, as Cardinal André Vingt-Trois proposed in his homily on February 5 Inviting to become “a sign of God’s salvation” [ . . . ]

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Fear and hope

Henry Moore (1898-1986), Refugees, Tyssen Museum, Madrid, detail

Are the two verbs opposed? Given the enormous challenges the world has to face (among other things: the announced death of the planet, the vast migratory movement that is still in its infancy, the destructive identity withdrawal, the new poverty engendered by a type of globalization ), Fear can make us flee, incite us to melt into the mass, to wait and, above all, not to take responsibility. But it can also provoke the opposite. We mobilize, oblige us to understand and analyze the issues, roll up our sleeves and take our responsibilities. More than ever, we are at the juncture between two worlds, the old and the new: there is an urgent need for a return to politics.
Christmas announces peace; It is to be constructed. By refusing that events decide for us, that others think for us. By creating opportunities for reflection, listening to others, questioning, exchanging at the risk of dispute, but benefiting from learning from them and moving forward together, deciding what is to come and living Of hope.
Daniel Duigou / Saint Merry

Source: Fear and hope – Saint-Merry

Whoo-ee! Ride me high

Le chien

I’ve been a fan of Francis Cabrel’s since first hearing Édition Spéciale‘ performed by Cabrel (with hilarious accompaniment from Albert Brooks) in the 1987 film “Broadcast News.”

Here’s a video I pieced together featuring Cabrel’s excellent French cover of Dylan’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” Pictured are Linda and I at the 70 AD Roman amphitheatre in Nîmes where we saw Cabrel in concert on 7/22/2016.

Also, there’s lovely Linda kayaking in  Ilse Sur La Sorgue, and dancing in a bike taxi while being pedalled through Paris.

Continue reading “Whoo-ee! Ride me high”

Saint Merry rocks it out baby bubbah to the boogie da bang bang the boogie to the boogie da beat … with Mendelssohn!

By Michael Stevenson, aka Dai Bando

“Serendipity” means “finding something other than what we were looking for.” That’s what happens much of the time when we travel, and serendipity struck again when we found St. Merry’s Chapel the other night.

I had actually read about St. Merry’s Chapel months ago, and intended to pay a visit when we got to Paris in July. St. Merry was a Catholic monk who became the patron saint of Paris’ Right Bank in the year 884. Saint Merry church, built in 1500, is now known as “petit Notre Dame” for the building’s marvelous architecture.

After a great afternoon at The Pompidou Musee, experiencing a fantastic exhibition on Jack Kerouac and The Beat Generation (more about that later) Linda and I sat in a nearby cafe to eat and drink some wine, and to figuratively and literally recharge. That’s when I spotted nearby Saint Merry.

Once there, I felt a connection to this place in ways I did not feel at Notre Dame. The chapel is beautiful and the church’s mission is, as well. There’s a great spirit here, and that spirit does not have white hair, dentures, and vote Republican.

St. Merry focuses on helping to promote local young artists, in their words – “promoting the word of God in the language of our time.” They have hip hop and grafitti artists perform at the church, as well as classical musicians. (Read specifics on their Arts program here )


After finding St. Merry, we quickly hustled into the building and asked a woman when the next concert would be? “Maintenant!” she whispered and pointed towards the assembling group of musician near that church altar. And then the music started, with organ, cello, and beautiful French voices performing Minteverdi, Purcell, and Mendelssohn. No Sugar Hill Gang, but maybe next time.

It was really beautiful, as serendipity often is.