Quand les mensonges deviennent la vérité, et la perception devient la réalité, tout est perdu.
We are on the other side of the election. Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Much will be said about this election, about perception and reality, the role of the media, the place of the common man, populism, etc., etc..
Pas de platitudes ici.
No platitudes here. Okay, I lied about that. Having already said that lies become the truth and perception reality. Leave at this. No congratulations, no lamentations, he may be great, we hope, no, I prefer to escape (c’est le mot?) in time and place to the other side of the world, Bruges, to the 9th Century, and to Baldwin Bras de Fer.
Europe in the 9th Century was at war. The Vikings were on a rampage across Europe and throughout Britain and Ireland. Hordes of Saxons and Angles poured across the English Channel and were sweeping across England. Alfred, king of Wessex, was not yet great, but on his way.
Baldwin I (circa 830s – 879), Baldwin Iron Arm to historians, was first Margrave of Flanders, founder of Bruges. Count Baldwin grabbed the spotlight when he ran off with princess Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, king of West Francia. Judith was living at home with dad, having previously been married to two kings of Wessex and therefore, twice a queen, until 860, when the second king died. With her brother’s help, Judith escaped dad’s protective custody in France, and fled to Flanders with her dashing Count Baldwin.
Charles, not one to take such an effrontery, demanded their return. Not happening.
So Charles had his bishops excommunicate the couple. They, not wishing to live in sin, went to Rome to see the Pope. He recognizing true love, took their side, put Charles in his proper place, and all was forgiven. Baldwin became a loyal supporter of Charles and helped him in holding off the Vikings.
In his struggles with the Vikings et al., Baldwin used the location of Bruges as his base of operations. On Burg Square in central Bruges, he built a fortress, since long gone and now the site of the City Hall.
If there a thought behind all this, I am not sure. Historical figures come and go. And Baldwin did not leave us with his fortress, but with the beginnings of a city.
Une fois une figure effrénée mais a oublié
The image above of the Bruges City Hall that one sees is itself a distortion. The angle of the camera contributes to that. So too is the fact that I removed an offending individual from the center of the image. Then I brightened up a dull and grey image. We see what we want to.
I will leave you gentle reader with this thought. When lies become the truth, and perception reality, all is lost. Dear reader, it is not an original thought. I am not even sure it is accurate.
For just when it seems all is lost, we wake up, reality is restored and it back to life. Elections, and the things that are said during them, are such ephemeral things.
We hope, we pray.