L’Unione Europea ha istituito un minuto di silenzio alle 11 di lunedì mattina in memoria delle vittime di Parigi. Ma io invito i miei amici, parenti, conoscenti, colleghi, tutti i contributors, gli editori e i lettori di StayCool a fare #unminutodicasino per i ragazzi di Parigi e per noi: perché la paura non ci può e non ci deve paralizzare. Yesterday morning I opened my eyes in my hotel room in Oslo, Norway and, as usual, I checked the time on my iPhone. I not only learned it was 7am, I also learned that about ten of my friends were “safe”. I put back the phone on my nightstand, and after a few moments, once my brain had finally elaborated the info, I got it back and opened the app. My friends were safe after the attacks in Paris. Attacks in Paris Attacks / in / Paris “attacksinparis” “Elisa, there has been a terroristic attack in Paris”, I told my sister, without even understanding completely what happened. It took her a while to react as well. Then, automatically, we both opened Facebook, Twitter, The New York Times, The Guardian, La Repubblica… Everyone was reporting the same horrible news: about 80 people killed at a concert, about 20 among restaurants, cafes, streets and an entire stadium locked after two bombs had exploded at the entrance. Apparently two terrorists, whose idea was to explode themselves inside the stadium, not right outside. This morning I woke up in my bed in Milan, I had breakfast while reading the features in the New York Times (I always read American news because they usually have a small recap of the main fact and then they focus on features) and I tried to understand. But I still can’t. My sister, who is 9 years older than me even though we always forget it, noticed I was under shock and tried to explain that that’s the way she felt on 9/11, when she was at work, watching the news on TV, seeing in real time the Twin Towers collapsing and people throwing themselves out of the window in one last attempt to save their own lives. “You were a child, you remember it in a different way”, she said. And it’s true. I remember the shock of seeing two symbols, two certain points, falling down just like that, like they were a prototype for an action movie. But I didn’t understand, I couldn’t understand the way I do now. And I didn’t feel what I feel today, reading about Paris or the 40 people killed in Beirut. Yesterday, my sister and I, decided to go to the airport earlier, assuming that security checks were doubled, but we also made ourselves going on with our day the way it was planned. We went to the Munch Museeum, where the visions of the artist seemed like the perfect output of the feelings of the day. A never ending shiver in the stomach. Our day passed by half empty airports, online news, statements and opinions about what happened. People who had slept at strangers’ houses. People who had turned on the phone at the Paris airport and discovered what happened while they were flying. People who survived. People who thought the shootings were fireworks. Then, during our layout in Zurich, my sister read me a post by her editor-in-chief (http://carodirettore.vanityfair.it/2015/11/14/un-minuto-di-casino-per-i-ragazzi-di-parigi) that ends like this “To keep saying that it can happen to us as well won’t save anybody. Because it is still more probable to die while crossing the street, and anyway, one can’t stop living because he’s afraid to die. So just listen to the music, dance, sing, go out wearing a mini-skirt, laugh, enjoy the wind in the hair, and if anyone says ‘there’s no religion anymore’, just answer ‘hurray!’. One minute of chaos for the kids in Paris. To never stop living before dying.” Finally someone had put in to words what I had been feeling all day long. I am 29, and my life impalpably changed since 9/11. But this was never a reason to stop living. Since that day I graduated from high school and took a BA with honors, I have lived in San Francisco, I have found a job, I have fallen in love 3 times, I have been heart-broken, I have seen many concerts, have bought two scooters, I have swam millions of times in the sea and have had a couple of boat-trips, I have had a millions of dinners with my friends, I have danced, sung, cried, gotten mad, I have seen Paris, London, New York City, San Diego, LA, Copenaghen, Oslo, Sicily, Sardinia and even the small Ischia: I have kept going on living and I will keep going on living, we all will.
The United Europe instituted a minute of silence on Monday at 11am to remember the victims of the Paris attacks. But I invite my friends, relatives, acquaintances, colleagues, all StayCool contributors, editors and readers to take #oneminuteofchaos for the kids in Paris and for us: because fear can’t and must not paralyze us.