I don't want to forget these words, so I'm posting them in my online scrapbook. Images and words and voices still inarticulate when it comes to conveying Haiti, its history, and the effects of its devastating earthquake Tuesday. But, these, from today's NYT's article on faith by Deborah Sontag, help me wrap my heart around it a bit. Because I can't give a lot of money nor travel to Haiti, I can only send my prayers, the ones in this secret heart, alone, when my mind is silent, and I feel waves connecting from my insignificant self in Florida--safe, well-fed, sheltered, and not thirsty--to a country of strangeness and beauty and color and faith and frightening wars, suffering people, corrupt governments, slavery, an imagined place to me--I feel my heart transport as I breathe deeply and say the words love to you, love to you, love to you, and see water, bright colors, a land blown in half, but people holding on to one another to survive, people holding on to what distant god...here is an excerpt from Sontag's article:

Sounding a similar note, a self-appointed preacher at Champ de Mars stood on a crate during the makeshift prayer service and proclaimed that the earthquake was punishment for a long list of sins that he enumerated in a singsong.

“We have to kneel down and ask forgiveness from God,” he said.

Vladimir Arisson brushed the self-appointed preacher away with rolled eyes. Mr. Arisson stood propping up his severely wounded girlfriend, Darphcat Charles, whose head was wrapped in bloody gauze, her eyes bruised and her face swollen, infected and grimacing. “My position is God bless, and send us, please, oh Lord, a doctor to plug the hole in my beloved’s head.”

Another man attending the evangelical service introduced his wife, who is eight months pregnant and sat on the pavement blank-faced. “A concrete block fell on her stomach, and we don’t know if the baby is still alive,” said the man, Ricot Calixte, 28. “Prayer can help, I think. As I still breathe, I have faith.”

Photo By Michael Appleton for The New York Times


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