I am quiet, too. I weep, but run quickly into a desolation that has no tears.
My friend Karine is alive. Her brother, though, is under the rubble. Not "dead," but "under the rubble." Sociologists call the social rules that develop at a time like this "emergent norms."
I long to have my Skype ring, my phone or my email box receive a cryptic message from Peter. But I know it isn't possible. Not now. Maybe tomorrow, though I don't expect it soon. Or even necessarily ever. He and the other boys live in the slums, which went down hard. I am not willing to use the past tense yet. I am not willing and I won't. As if my refusal will keep a young pair of lungs buried under concrete moving in and out, a young heart beating.
I stay busy because not to stay busy is to stare into the air in front of me as if it has turned to gel and is creeping up my body toward my nostrils where I, too, will stop breathing. Like the hundred thousand Haitians who were there only a day ago. And now are...not.
Peter taught me to say in Creole, "Depi nou gen la vi gen lespwa. " ("Where there is life, there is hope.") But with so much loss of life, I am losing hope, as well.
May we live this day as sacred. With a reverance for its connections between all humans and all other living things. May we remember always that life is not a given. And may we take every opportunity to bless each other with love.
To see some of the first photos that have come out of Haiti, go here.