Thinking About Haiti

I think about you, and I know I cannot fully understand.  I can’t get it.

One minute, you’re a tropical paradise, jewel of the Antilles, the next, you’re a pile of rubble.  You don’t deserve to be this.

What can I do?  I can send dollars, but that won’t bring back the people and places that make up your home.

Will it help you if I feel pain on your behalf?  If I think about you and shed tears, close my eyes, shake my head, dig my nails into my palms?  It’s not zero-sum, pain is infinite, so I know that no matter how much anguish I feel for you, your burden will not lessen.  It is right now, as I write this on January 15th, that the final hopes are fading for finding people alive.  The crucial hours are running out.

I am not watching you.  I did not watch Indonesia as it dealt with being swept away, either.  You don’t need me to see dirt-flecked images of you, broken and bleeding, your insides and outsides all mixed-up and exposed.  Imagining is plenty – more than enough.  I already know I have no problems.  A messy kitchen, not quite enough sleep, looming deadlines, loved ones I worry about… these are the “problems” of someone more blessed than she can even fully grasp.  Things that seem unfair in my world are so inconsequential as to be laughable.

Unfair is going about your life, trying to do right, and then having the world around you crumble to the ground, literally.

I know you feel alone and abandoned.  Your own government has shown you no valour.  Does it help at all, a little maybe, that I’m thinking about you?  Trying to envision Light coming through the cracks and the dust?  Imagining your Mother picking you up in her hands, all of you – the lost, the homeless, the bereaved, the wounded, the trapped, the dying, the dead – and very gently blowing the dust away, using delicate fingers to remove the wreckage, (like pebbles to her,) causing air and sunlight to touch every one of your faces, letting soft tears fall on you to wash away the dirt and blood that choke you, holding you in a healing grasp?

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