Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Lessons from The Notre Dame fire
As our thoughts turn from yesterday's tragic fire at Notre Dame to today's soccer matches, then to how much snow has melted around here, followed by a consideration of lunch, then on to my need for a Kleenex, and finally to some ruminations on what sort of coat I should wear on my walk up river to work, it behooves us to stop. It behooves us to take stock. It behooves us to consider what we have learned.
Mostly I just like saying "behooves".
Things looked bad there with the legendary Notre Dame Cathedral burning wildly in the heart of Paris while the sun set and our president offered helpful firefighting tips. But a new day dawns. There are still multiple live feeds of the disaster, but instead of showing one of the great buildings of the human endeavor engulfed in flames, we can instead watch a bunch of construction guys on a crane by a stone statue in the sky that did not fall.
And that's just the thing. While the damage is devastating, and the fire was huge, the main building seems to be intact. Stone man, stone. Plus construction workers! I always so admire standing around.
In another hour I'm off to work at my own local cultural institution, the library. And like The Notre Dame Cathedral it is a very flammable place. Ideally we would convert all those flammable books to stone tablets, but at some point we library workers have to ask "Will we really need these Jodi Picoult books for more than 800 years?"
And then we'll have to stand around for awhile.