Coming home from Paris full of privilege and paradox, I can’t get the Red Line demonstration, a collective gesture, out of my mind, both visually and emotionally. It felt like we were walking on the edges of an open wound. I felt the throbbing urgency of our burning, bleeding world in my own feet.
Two young men walking next to me in the manifestation were firefighters from Fairbanks, Alaska, named David and Mark. When I asked them why they came to Paris, they said because they spent the past year watching six million acres of forest burn and all their efforts to tame, break, or put out these scorching, runway wildfires felt at times, not only futile but painfully personal. They were working the front lines of a planet in peril. Nobody paid for their tickets, they did.
They don’t belong to any group except the only one that counts, the human race.
The best words inspire us, make us think, some can even change our lives, but in the end, words are not enough. But individual actions born out of love and pain and concern shared just might be. The gesture of striking a match can destroy or illuminate.
I want to believe that a candle was lit in Paris, many candles, on behalf of something we cannot yet name. — Terry Tempest Williams
Meanwhile, though . . .
. . . even so,