Thursday, January 14, 2010

Oh, Ayiti ...

For the past few days I've been trying to think about what I'd write about the recent earthquake in Haiti. But, in all honesty, I just can't find the words. The situation is just too depressing.

Though I've never been there, Haiti holds a special place in my heart. My "bestest friend in the whole world" is Haitian. I consider it the second coolest island in the Caribbean (Daddy's Jamaica is first, of course). Their heroes--L'Ouverture, Dessalines, Boukman--are my heroes. The religion that may or may not (wink, wink, nod, nod) inhabit the island was a monumental influence on the writing of my first novel, Sunshine Patriots. And they (and yellow fever) did something thought utterly impossible at the time: defeated Napoleon. And that revolution served as a specter that haunted the American South all the way up until ... the signing at Appomattox? ... the 1965 Voting Rights Act? ... Obama's election?

I know that Haiti has been bathed in tragedy ever since that revolution 200 years ago and that this weekend's earthquake is just the latest deluge that island has been made to suffer. Still, amongst the tragedy, any blog post I could come up with would just be different, more articulate iterations of "This sucks."

However, wherever words fail, music can often step in and fill the void. So, I've decided to share these two Haitian classics (Rara Machine and Boukman Eksperyans) with yall. After all, even clouded in misery, people should never forget to dance.

PS. Special shout out goes to Serge Declama. You taught me a lot during our brief association. I hope all is as well as could be expected in this situation.

1 comment:

Paula said...

I, too, am overwhelmed.
The best I could do was put a link on my blog to a form people can use to donate to Partners in Health, probably the only working medical care system left in the country.
I'm hoping some country steps up to the plate and invites all survivors to emigrate to safety.