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Timing is Everything

Along with millions around the world, I, too, wept in shock to see the images of the magnificent Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral burn.  It is illogical to think that these things will last forever but, let’s face it, she has been standing for 800 years.  We have gotten used to her existence.

©François Guillot AFP Getty Images

I could not help but think how, if I had sold my house six months ago, I would be there right now, today, April 16.  I had put my deposit on Cook in France, the newest destination cooking getaway created by Linda and George Meyers of Cook in Tuscany, a year ago, thinking my house would be sold and settled, and, even if I hadn’t moved yet, I’d be free to roam Burgundy and Paris for three weeks.  Notre Dame would definitely have been on my itinerary.

And now I’ll never see her in all her glory.  Even though she is badly wounded and not completely destroyed, any restoration that will take place will take years.  I don’t doubt it will happen.  I just don’t know if I will ever see any of it.  This does sound woe-is-me-ish, doesn’t it?  I don’t suppose I am alone in this one.  Oh, there are those who have no desire to travel and see the world and that’s okay.  I’m just not one of them.

This thought, of course, begat more thoughts and I found myself remembering those times where the fates were against me (protected me?) such as the time we left late to go to the movies, and as a result were behind an overpass crashing down as I once wrote about here.  Had we left earlier… who knows?

How some people were supposed to be at the Twin Towers on that fateful day but missed their plane, slept in, whatever; while others, on a whim decided to join up for breakfast as did two sisters, only to have it be their last meal.

I could, of course list many a coulda, shoulda woulda or a couldna, wouldna, didna but they will all end up in the same place.  This or that did or didn’t happen.  Call it fate, call it “not your time”, call it happenstance; doesn’t matter.  Whatever works for you to understand the why you missed something or not.

I’ve never been a proponent of the “why me?” mentality.  The opposite holds true, as a matter of fact.  Why the hell NOT me?  Why should I deserve or not deserve whatever I am receiving?

Which brings me to a show I loved that sadly only lasted two seasons.  “Dead Like Me”, with Ellen Muth, Mandy Patinkin and Jasmin Guy, who play grim reapers, working to collect souls:  the names and times of death received on post-it notes.  It might seem blasphemous to end this serious-starting post with a comedic-drama show but that’s how I roll.

89 thoughts on “Timing is Everything

  1. Q,

    As we talked about, I think it’s innate in us humans . . to ask why? As if there exists a definitive answer to the unanswerable questions. And it must feel eerie and sad, the thought that you might have seen the Lady before the devastation. Again, what sounds selfish is really more a matter of wanting to make sense of that which we know, deep down, we cannot.

    I’ve thought about symbols a lot over the past couple days. What they mean, and how we carry them with us. I struggled for the meaning of symbols for a very long time. Never wanting to believe they might possess the kind of power that sustain us, because in believing such a thing, I felt it mitigated human potential. I was wrong.

    Symbols provide us with an elemental human need to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. And that’s how I felt, watching news coverage of Paris yesterday with other people- young and old. Just sitting there, watching, together. Even cranky old me appreciated the symbolism in that.

    Wonderful piece on the human struggle.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have been feeling kind of like that about people lately. Interesting that you become friends with some people and not others. Leading you to have some experiences, conversations you wouldn’t have had otherwise. Shoulda pursued that person? Shouldn’ta pursued that one … Each decision adds to who we become….?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely, Karen. And good or bad, each esperience/person brings us something. Either we we find joy in the said experience or person or we learn that we should have listened to our gut so next time our spidey senses act up, we react appropriately.
      All I can say, is I’m glad we connected when we did 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It is the heart of the city and the heart of the country. My parents (in their mid-80s) are world travelers, have been every where except France. Until now. They have been touring the country and will get to Paris tomorrow. Yeah, awful. They already said this was their last trip abroad. Now to you – Don’t count out seeing it. It may be years, but it will be restored. Most of the stained glass is good and most of the stone work. The art was saved. So, although a huge amount was lost, a huge amount is still to be seen. (I’ve been to Paris three times and Notre Dame is my favorite place – we visited daily, often two or three times a day. I hope the restored version doesn’t loose that feeling…)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have been in the Notre Dame Cathedral a number of times, it is beautiful indeed. I feel the loss of this historical site. It does make me wonder at all the sources of funds coming forward, but no one seems to care about the homelessness or the hungry children, not meaning to seem unfeeling in this tragic incident.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Oh, I love these musings. And I’m sorry you didn’t get to see it–I didn’t either. That’s such a regret. But you’re right–it’s trust in a Universe that has our backs. Even when it appears painful . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m neither a religious person nor particularly enamored with architecture. But, I’m a big fan of history and culture and these things and places that have survived human drama and trauma for centuries. They represent so much that is our humanity. The loss is a big one.

    As for “timing is everything” … the summer of 1972, when I was seven years old, my family of six went on a 10 week vacation across America. Crammed into a 21 foot trailer we traveled 10,000 miles and saw a whole bunch of stuff that I have no memory of. But a few weeks after we got back we went to an air show at the Sacramento Executive Airport. When we left, the kids screamed and pleaded for a trip to Farrell’s — an “old-time” ice cream parlor that was the stuff that kids’ dreams are made of.

    My parents had other ideas. Their plan all along had apparently been that we would have pizza after the air show. No amount of pleading from the peanut gallery got them off their plan — my parents were kind of like that — so off for pizza we went. Farrell’s would wait for another day.

    Only it wouldn’t be the Farrell’s by the airport. About 45 minutes after we left the air show, one of the airplanes crashed into Farrell’s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farrell%27s_Ice_Cream_Parlour

    If the Paxson kids had gotten their way that day, we would have smack dab in the middle of our ice cream sundaes and what not when the plane plowed into the place.

    Yes … timing is everything. As is parents who stick with their plan. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Honestly, neither am I, religious, that is. I do enjoy visiting certain architecture that provide views on history and culture. All is not lost with this one.

      Wow! That is crazy timing! Of course at seven years of age one would only remember certain things on such a trip like nir getting ice cream when you wanted it.

      And so, then was not your time! No post-it note had been delivered with your name and time on it.😉

      Farrell’s looked like a cool joint.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I fully approve of the comedic ending, else you’ll leave us all morose for the day. And tragedy is so often broken by comedy.
    But I know what you mean about folks who find a reason not to be where they usually are and thereby miss an awful catastrophe. I can think of many instances of accidents avoided by an upset stomach, an alarm clock that didn’t go off, a last minute change of plans. And how many accidents and tragedies that just didn’t happen because everyone who would have been involved had last minute reasons not to be there.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Dale,

    The world has suffered a terrible blow this week. Although one thing to celebrate is that no lives were lost. I’m sure I’ve told you that had my NY daughter in law felt better and caught her train on time, she wouldn’t have been late for work at the WTC, 11 Sept. She also wouldn’t be here. That said, I’ll say that you have knack for sharing things in a way we all can relate. Glad you missed the crash 4 years ago. I might not have met you otherwise and that would’ve been a tragedy.

    Shalom and lotsa hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rochelle,

      It has. In the grand scheme of things, that no lives were lost is amazing. And, truly, there are more important things to worry about. There is much anger now at how money is appearing to fix the church but there are still starving children. I won’t go there. Enough is being said.
      And yes, you mentioned your DIL’s luck at being ill.
      Glad you like my knack😉
      And glad I missed it too!

      Shalom and lotsa love,



  9. I can understand your “woe-is-me” over not having seen the cathedral, and the fate stories that we all know. As for the comedy at the end–laughing after a disaster is part of the human experience, isn’t it? I remember my sisters telling funny stories at my dad’s memorial service.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh heck, I swear I only just breathed over my keyboard and my complete comment went awol….
    I really must learn to start a ‘word doc’ and then, when done, copy and paste it on the blog I’m commenting on! This is the one time too often that I must restart to write.
    What I meant to say, Dale, is: GO ANYWAY and VISIT NOTRE DAME! Why do I say that? It’s still a cathedral, it’s still a holy, UNESCO worthy monument, and you can still find a moment’s peace and contemplation. OK, it’s Notre Dame ‘burnt, hurt, sad, damaged, suffering’ etc but the building is still awe-inspiring, maybe even more now then when it was complete in its splendid size and impressive ‘look-at-me’ state! And look how lucky ‘we’ are: The magnificent windows and rosettes have NOT burst, many of the priceless relics were saved and are now well protected, the interior of the huge church has not collapsed, the doors (portals) are still there, and much more. Even the grande orgue is not damaged beyond repair, although the waters certainly have done damage. To think that the roof could have collapsed and fallen on this precious instrument….
    What moved me personally most is the following: France being the probably most secular country I know, has shown in many ways that there IS some faith left in its people. Yesterday, I saw hands joining hands with the person next to them, there were people kneeling on the ground, there was singing and openly praying in the streets, folks were standing with their heads bent, candles everywhere (fight fire with fire?!), groups assembled right there on the point of ‘kilometre zero’ – the centre of France, departure and homecoming point of this country.
    May I direct you, just for this once, to a comment I made on Heide’s blog? You’ll find a magnificent 360° virtual tour to ND, a UNESCO speech of one minute and a link to my upload on Flickr yesterday, some 2 years after my last post…. (You see, the fire affected me too!)
    https://heideblog.com/2019/04/16/the-devastation-of-notre-dame-cathedral/ Just move down to Kiki….

    In Switzerland (and Germany of course), we have the word ZUFALL (hazard, chance, happenstance) and one of my best liked description is that nothing ever is hazardous, but it ‘falls to us’ (zu fallen). You would say, everything happens for a reason, but I don’t like this saying; it’s too simple. I rather like to think that it’s our way of interpretation of a happening. What’s your idea?

    Dead like me: I am seriously scared after watching this trailer. How can anybody watch a series with all these deaths?! I’m a defender of funny, heart-warming films, preferably English ones or then actors with a real personality, who become the person they play….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What absolutely amazes, and delights me, is the speed at which the authorities have worked since the fire. In 24 hours they have done so much to plan, fund raise, and actually get things done. I’m not sure that the 5 year target will be achieved but it puts the UK to shame for their inactivity, and prevarication over so many things. Public enquiries 30, 40, 50 years after the event, prosecuting old soldiers 45 years after the events, coroners enquiries taking years and years, not to mention – No I will not mention IT.
    Bravo France!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It is a very sad event for the entire world. Many important historical relics were destroyed and lost forever. As you mentioned in your post of missing impending doom events, I will share a couple. In the Later 60’s, I don’t remember the date, I was coming home for Christmas and scheduled to fly from Dulles Airport to Kansas City. I was bumped at the very last moment as I was flying Military Standby. The very pregnant lady the bumped me boarded instead. The planed crashed with no survivors. I was in process of boarding and so I was listed as one of the passengers. Sad. Additionally, our Daughter-In-Law worked in the Twin Towers above the first plane crash on 911. She felt ill that morning and so she and our Son waited a half hour before deciding she felt better. She was crossing the lobby at about the 39th floor to get on the elevator to take her all the way up. That’s when the first plane hit. She barely made it out. You never know.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dale let’s look at it this way. The true Miricale is no one was killed… Sadly a Firman was injured but no one died. The building still stands as do some of the beautiful stain glass windows. We have had these nightmares in England too, Windsor Castle, York Minster and honest they are as good as if not better than new honest. The French reckon it will take them 5yrs to rebuild and honest it will be glorious …the history and feel of the place will still be there. This is stone and mortar all will be well. Sending you big hugs. BTW Hun keep dodging the Reaper I shall be doing the same ..
    As you say a question of timing. I also love dead like me .💜💜💜

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely. That is the true miracle. As for the rebuilding, that is already causing quite the uproar, isn’t it? All that money being found for a thing (no matter how glorious) but where is that same generosity when it comes to people? An argument for another day.
      It was such a fun show!! 🧡🧡🧡

      Liked by 1 person

    • willowdot; isn’t it amazing, 700millions have already been pledged by French ‘businesses’ in less than one day, and I’m sure the one billion they’ll need will be together before Good Friday – and YES, I really, really would like to see that something like that happens for PEOPLE not only for THINGS!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Those shoulda, woulda, coulda really make you stop and think. While I know you’d have loved see the crown jewel of Paris, selfishly I’m so grateful you didn’t. I will mourn the no doubt lengthy though temporary loss of this remarkable site and hope with the time I have left, I can see something equally comparable. Whether here or elsewhere, the gypsy gene is stirring again and it will need to be satisfied.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Dale, I’m sorry timing was against your seeing Notre Dame and spending time in Paris. I was in Paris and visited the cathedral a dozen years ago. It was an awing experience. I learned of the fire and saw pictures of Notre Dame burning while googling something on my computer. I felt incredibly sad about the monumental loss to the world. And then I thought of the wonderful high I experienced when Tiger Woods won the Masters. Ces’t la vie.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I feel much the same about the loss. I have spent so much time studying it that it feels like an old and treasured friend, though I’ve never seen it in person.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. It’s sad when something so iconic is damaged. I saw it from the outside years ago but didn’t go in and even so I feel sad that I’ll never see it the way it was. I think I am a believer in fate – or at least that we all end up where we’re supposed to be at a moment in time, however we get there….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I could not agree with you more, Andrea.
      In the grand scheme of things, it is a beautiful thing and a sad thing that it’s beauty has been destroyed, though will rise again. But perspective is needed here as well. No one died.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Dale! It was very saddening to see this, but your point is spot on that nothing lasts forever or is indestructible. Seeing all those relics and burning was unreal. But I love that the firefighters did the most remarkable job of saving what they could of it. I was fortunate to have seen it in 2017 on the Fourth of July. Though I didn’t go inside(because the line was 2-3 hour wait that I didn’t have time for), I did take photos of it and around the area. That in itself is a site to behold, and that was one of the best days of my life.

    I’m not sure they’ll make the 5-year target either. However, in five years, Paris is the site for the Summer Olympics in 2024, which makes me think this is a reason for the supposed and targeted 5-year deadline.

    With that said, the priorities are shown with this, too. And, not in a good way.

    But this is a reminder to all to see what you can in this world while you can. You just never know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and taking the time to leave a great comment. I imagine I would not necessarily have waited 2-3 hours either to go inside.
      Priorities are strange indeed when one stops to think.

      And yes. I’ve had stronger reminders than buildings burning to go out and see the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Really interesting & solid thoughts, Dale! ⚡️💥
    I watched the trailer. The show looks fab, but I never even heard about it. There’s way too, much to watch on TV, cable and streaming. How could anyone know about all the shows?
    I adore Mandy Patinkin. I got to work with him once. He would sing to me sometimes. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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