It will take more than a click or view of these moments captured this week, to awaken to the impact of the unholy cloud of terror that descended upon Oradour-sur-Glane, orchestrated by the will of man, 10 June 1944 … an impact that lives on in infamy, pulsing its beacon of humanity’s capacity for darkness, upon us all.

THAT is its gift.
An ULTIMATE dichotomy.

Nothing can touch you viscerally except by being there … because by your own BEING there, you grasp that it is not.

Where what was, is what is.
And what is, is not what was.

There is nothing to hold onto.
No hope.
No fear.
An emptiness not empty but full of voices frozen — or actually burned — immortalized by fire — in time.

Lost? No.

Caught? Yes.

Caught in trust and hope as if it continued past lunch.
In the promise and expectation of normalcy and ‘les habitudes,’ in a day in the life being lived.

Not unlike what you and I have this very day.
They had that too.

They got up from their midday lunch, and the world turned.
Rampaged then burned, all but a few inhabitants annihilated, their homes and businesses, their village reduced to what stands still in time.

They didn’t get up from the table and die there; they were hauled out of their homes — those life-long, familiar spaces which ‘remained waiting’ for their return; supper to cook, company for dinner, a sweet night’s rest.

What you see in the slideshow; the ravaging of intimate spaces, occurred last.

Walk into the Silence that covers the village streets.
If you listen you might hear the tinkling of glasses being cleared from the midday meal. Laughter. The secure and comfortable habits of life being lived; after lunch … perhaps a visit to the coiffure, perhaps your husband has to get the car checked at the garage …

I did not enter Oradour well versed in what occurred there. I knew of it, and as it was en route in my journey south into the Ariège, I was called to experience it first hand.

There is no bottom. Drop a penny in the well? You will not hear it hit.

THAT is the dynamic one grapples with at Oradour; an abyss, bottomless in its nature.

There is no HERE there.
There is no presencing of Light.
Except in the sky above on a sunny day.
It does still shine through vacuous window frames.

What is left, are these Standing Stones that echo unfathomable depths as witness to the soul-raping crime of revenge.

It will chill your bones and sharpen your senses. People walking through as I was, wept openly in the streets. They could not help themselves. Nor could I. Seventy three years later.

There is no end to this story. No redemption. No solution.
Just a witnessing held now in all that is left, of one sheer act of revenge.

A bustling centuries-old community away from the ravages of the war, going about business as usual, even though occupied by the Nazis, considered their children would grow old and prosper.

What was never dreamed of, was the inhumanity of man.

That is our inheritance.