We are in October 2020. The iron curtain of this café has remained shut since lockdown in March. There were more than ten tables on the terrace. Here, we are in the South of France and the weather is nice even in winter. I’ve never seen the tables empty. There were almost only men in this cafe, gathered around an espresso, a beer or a glass of wine. This café is not my world and besides I would change sidewalks when I walked in this street, to avoid feeling the men’s eyes scrutinizing my body.
Yet I want to cry when I see that gray curtain closed permanently. Because there was life in this old-fashioned café, which showed a multitude of green plants through its windows, as well as an old babyfoot. This café allowed people to communicate, exchange views, and feel alive. Of course, some customers will have found other places to meet. But not all. Some men will stay home, possibly falling into isolation, depression or alcoholism.
I am also thinking of the cafe managers. How decades of hard work evaporated in a matter of weeks. I think of you, my friend, my sister, because you may also be concerned, as a restaurant manager, a gym manager, an exhausted health worker or other.
You know, I firmly believe in people’s intelligence, despite appearances. As I was sharing in a live stream lately, intelligence has nothing to do with the number of years of schooling or degrees. I also know that fear is poison. We need compassion for each other, especially for those who are afraid. I think of you and if you are suffering I want to be there in my own way, continuing to share, being present for the lives even when I’m tired, talking to you about serious or light things, inspiring you to add pretty colors to your plate and take care of your body. And your heart my friend my sister.
Besides, I want to believe in good. I want to believe that good will win in the end. Sometimes I must admit that I doubt it. But we have to believe my friend my sister. We must always embody our values and move forward despite the fear.
Yes I am convinced that there will be a lawsuit against those who allowed, even wanted, this disaster, but it will be too late.
What is left then? Resilience to overcome. Resilience.