The future, like everything else, is not what it used to be. ~ Paul Valery
And so I watched the television screen replay the video while tears fell from my eyes and my heart cracked into a different kind of grief broken only by pauses of silent shock as it was a little less than one year ago today that I had a chance to spend three weeks in a paradise of blue and white light that bounces and reflects a warm radiance. A mythical city where each impression was a lyrical sensation - the language, the food, the people, the art, the antiquity in the modernity. I was struck by the care given to something as humble as a baguette and coffee, for the simple pleasure of sitting under the awning of a cafe lingering in timelessness - no particular place to be at any particular time sans agenda.
While my time in Nice wasn't particularly an easy one given the task I was there to fulfill, I was warmed by a beautiful group of people who embraced me in a way I hadn't expected. I was surprised by a rise of internal independence and a voice that had long gone silent finding it's way out into the world. On fragile wings I navigated this beautiful city in an ordinary way: walking the streets, sitting in outdoor cafes, strolling on the Promenade de Anglais, afternoon time at the beach to immerse in the sea and delighting in the simple pleasure of a meal. I had no phone to preoccupy me, no book or newspaper nor could I speak the language. I only had my senses to work with and my camera and pen/paper to relay and preserve my impressions.
So what has happened in Nice ripped through me in a way I cannot describe. And after ensuring the safety of those I adore who live in the city, I went to the photographs which I've never shown as a whole. As a way of extending love and my own little flower on an altar of prayer, I felt a need to share images from my time both in color and black and white. For this is the city I had the great fortune to spend time in and a place I will return to again.
This is the city of Nice. A jewel that shines in the heart of the French Riviera.