My FB, twitter and Instagram feeds exploded last night with news of the attacks in Paris. I visited Paris once, with my brother back in 2000. We were there for about a day. Having studied French in high school it was pretty rusty, but I think, understandable. I recall overall that most Parisians were actually pretty rude and annoyed at our attempts to speak the language. Maybe they thought we were Americans? I’m not sure. In any event, the food was amazing, the sites were beautiful, we saw the Eiffel tower lit up at night, took the obligatory tourist photos and moved on.
Every other day there is some tragedy in the world that demands our attention. Photos are posted in solidarity, hashtags are born, it’s a “thing” for a few days, then something else happens and the world moves on. I imagine it would have been pretty terrifying to be in the middle of what occurred last night. But I’m not sure how posting photos, giving them our “thoughts and prayers” really accomplishes anything. If the world really wants to be free of “terror” and our governments want to protect us, certain of our freedoms and liberties will have to be forsaken. Could you live with a government-imposed curfew? Do you want your government reading your emails and tracking your online presence? Do you really want your country’s borders closed to all foreigners? I think if you really sit down and examine what that all means, most people would in fact, not want that. I certainly don’t.
In the long run, what happened last night in Paris happens all the time in other countries but doesn’t make the worldwide news.
It all started with a little television show called The X-Files. I was obsessed. Of course aliens are real and have been visiting our planet for decades! Of course the American government covered up the events in Roswell, New Mexico. Now, before my fellow physician colleagues out there call for a psych consult, let me be clear that I don’t really believe any of that. Sure, sometimes it’s nice to think that we, humans, are not alone in this vast universe, but I certainly don’t believe that we are being visited on a regular basis by other intelligent creatures from far away galaxies. Nor are select individuals being abducted from their homes and experimented on in spaceships. (Though, as an aside, have you ever been in an MRI machine? The bangs and clicks those machines make are startling similar to the sounds that abductees often describe. I’m just saying.) The concept of “We are not alone” is an intriguing one. One pervasive human trait is our fear of being alone. I think we pair bond for that reason (and of course to reproduce, but really I think, to avoid being alone). How can we be the only intelligent life in the universe? What makes us special? Was it happenstance? Divine intervention? A fluke?
Speaking of mish mash. On a trip to Montreal about 8 years ago, husband did some research on where to eat and what to do in the city. He found a little greasy spoon outside the city that had a wonderful reputation for something called the mish mash. Apparently this was the place to go to for a hangover breakfast. And that’s exactly what we did. The restaurant was called Cosmos. Run by a Greek family, the house specialty was the mish mash – fried mashed potatoes, bacon, sausage, eggs and anything else you wanted, all mashed up together. Seriously, it was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had.
Shockingly, we found out a few years ago that Tony (top) was killed in his home, his son a suspect in the murder. So sad and tragic.
I started this blog in September, 2011. I was a month away from starting back to work after my second maternity leave. I felt like I had learned so much from experiencing pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum depression that I realized how much it helped make me a better doctor and wanted to share some of that experience. Little did I know that three and a half years later, I’d still be writing and would have close to 350 followers! It’s been fun being able to see where all my visitors are from. Some of you are thousands of miles away, others are just hop, skip and a jump from my back door, and some are from cities I’ve never heard of! Some of you are active contributors, others merely quiet observers.