Thursday, January 14, 2010

The only topic

First, the fluffy(er) -- a p.p.s. to yesterday's post -- Henry Rollins & happy? Don't exactly go together. This I knew. I think my word on his writings is probably more like "interesting" or "intense." Just to be linguistically correct about it all.

Now, to take a sharp right turn to the serious sadness we're all hearing about....

I don't have adequate words or much of value to contribute, but I want to say: Haiti. Oh dear god. This country that's been kicked not just in the teeth but full-on in the face so many times, and now.... I just donated a few dollars because it's something I can do (even in an incomeless state) and probably about all the usefulness I'm able to do, and to do nothing feels too, too wrong.

I had the thought upon first hearing of the massive earthquake -- it's just all so overwhelming, easier to turn away, to feel heartsick, to put it out of mind. But I had the simultaneous thought -- if everyone were to donate just a dollar or two, that would be a huge something....

I turned to Partners In Health, a local nonprofit that's done a ton of work/good in Haiti (as detailed in Kidder's book, Mountains Beyond Mountains); I've also seen appeals from Oxfam and Heifer -- I know all are worthy.

I'm sharing/offering simply out of a need to acknowledge, and on the selfish level, I do feel better for knowing I've done something, however small, with a small donation and by talking about it. In such an interconnected world, there's something terribly wrong-feeling about how disasters elsewhere can mean nothing to many of us, beyond uncomfortable news. I mean, what if an earthquake just devastated D.C.? What about the international response to us after 9/11? It's a fact of life, of my life, certainly, that tragedy near and far is all too easy to tune out. And there's something about that increasingly not sitting right with me -- which means putting some conscious thought to how I'm choosing to react.

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