Tossed but not Sinking

The collapse of a spire has made me change my plans for this morning. There are tons of chores on my To Do list but Notre Dame has changed all of that.

Life without beauty is merely existence. And even if we don’t share the same criteria for beauty, we know we need it.  That’s why works of art such as Notre Dame are fundamental—to remind us that, despite our differences, we all have something in common.

Notre Dame di Paris

Below I’ve posted the last photos I took of Notre Dame in 2015.  They were meant to be a memorandum for a blog post but now they have another value. In the background of one photo, the spire is barely visible but it’s there still upright. The other photos are of the Rose window over the main portal and of a statue of  the Madonna and Child standing on top of Adam & Eve.


All around Paris you can see representations of the city’s coat of arms—a boat with the inscription “Fluctuat nec mergitur” meaning “She is tossed by the waves but does not sink”. And Notre Dame is just like that boat—wounded but not destroyed.

In these times of division where we focus on differences, the sorrow we feel for Our Lady has united us. Maybe that’s why it’s said that God moves in mysterious ways.

Fluctuat nec mergitur


Related: Stories set in stone +  4 Days in Paris

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9 Responses to Tossed but not Sinking

  1. Martine says:

    So sad……………

  2. Natalie says:

    Thank you for this, dear Cynthia. Something feels apocalyptic about those photos of the burning spire. Many people will scoff at such feelings but they can’t be brushed away.

  3. Sherry says:


  4. Megan P says:

    Thanks ffor sharing

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