This morning was characteristically fresh in Port au Prince. December and January are crisp, cool months, and there tends to be an energy of hope in this Caribbean nation after the holidays.
I awoke to the sound of singing, chanting prayer. Already at 6:45 am, the air was music.
It is hard to delineate the mood here. Since my arrival yesterday, I have tapped into somber, sad, joyful, hopeful, tragic, ecstatic, and more.As I drove through Port au Prince, en route to a commemoration ceremony with my dear friends from The Psycho Trauma Program, I see some people working, as if its any other day. I see others singing and wringing their hands, skyward. I see people praying. I see others just sitting.
The ceremony is lovely. We light 3 candles:For those we lost, for Haiti, and for hope—for the “biggest” future possibilities we can imagine. We let a hundred or so white balloons fly into the universe, free. With these balloons, we liberate hope.
I still believe the world has let Haiti down. Clearly, there are many points of suffering in the world today, and there is much—too much—to do.Haiti was not the only tragedy of 2010. However, promises were made—promises of funds from wealthy nations that never appeared.Promises to do more than just show up, once, and make promises.
While I deeply believe that Haiti’s healing must be guided by her own hands and hearts, this process will take nurturing from places and people who have not lost infrastructure and resources and so very many lives.And who have economic infrastructure and a few resources to share. The nurturing has only appeared in small batches, in a few of us who are willing to show up again and again, without our own agenda. And, from a few significant funding sources—like the Clinton Bush initiative—who seem to quietly keep their promises.
The night is quiet. Still, even. Cicadas and crickets, a few other croaking or chirping creatures, are night song. Remembrance for souls who departed rapidly, violently, crushed by the weight of poverty induced shoddy construction and lack of ——everything. Crushed by the reality of living in and with poverty. No escape route.
Dear souls, fly. After one year of bardo, of limbo, of dancing in that at once chaotic and wide open liminal space—-fly.The place you left, home, is gone. Forever gone. There is not the same place to come back to. Perhaps your wings can help Haiti lift out of the debris and the disappointment and begin to “rise herself up” again.