Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Little Progress, A Little Hope

{Thoughts from the Long Weekend}

Over the long weekend there were heavy topics on our minds. There was the shared feeling of helplessness and the secret nagging of guilt over the horrors in Haiti. There were pictures haunting me as we fell asleep in our warm bed. There was the discussion of which organizations needed donations the most. And yesterday, thanks made for Martin Luther King's vision and the listening to his speeches on the radio.

But there were also modicums of hope, little stories to buoy the spirits: The Red Cross received over 21 million dollars in donations via text messages for relief efforts in Haiti. Creole-speaking Marines helped survivors find each other. Women sold sundries on the streets of Port-au-Prince for the first time since the quake. The world is rushing to help. But still, but still. So much suffering. It is hard to bear.  Even the local turkey vultures hung wearily in the sky here in the desert, so far removed from the devastation but symbolic of our heavy hearts.

So I busied myself with work. There was progress in the studio. In the context of the greater world this is meaningless of course. But it is my little world, and I must carry on, so it was progress nonetheless.

And for the husband, progress in the kitchen. Walla Walla + tomato hash on farm-fresh eggs on BUTTERED TOAST.  Toast that had been sourdough boule coming out of the oven only hours before. Butter that had come from cows on the same farm. All of those things on a plate at the same time. Such simple pleasures, and we forgot the trouble of the world outside for a little while.
Who wouldn't?

We turn to routine to comfort our pink, tender souls in the midst of tragedy. Some of us seek respite in work, some of us ignore the news.  Some of us volunteer. Some of us find solace in Law and Order reruns, some in the out-of-doors. All of these things are natural.

Us? We went for hike. With dogs. It has not rained here in six months. The earth is cracked, parched, greedy. And so, because there is a great and mysterious scale that eventually must right itself, the desert held court and the thunderheads came. The heavens opened up and it began to rain. It is our turn to be balanced, nourished, rightened. Tomorrow, it will be your turn. Perhaps eventually, one can hope, it will be Haiti's.

It poured across the Mojave and we watched, in awe, as a rainbow stretched across the mountains. I'd like to think it's a harbinger of a little progress, a little hope.


  1. What a beautiful post Lily... elegantly written!! I love these photos and your posts always give me HOPE!! xo

  2. Beautiful post Lily! Caroline says it for me. Lovely clouds and rainbow. Stay safe. The storms are powerful today.

  3. All things unfold from one moment of hope.

  4. I cannot watch the news, because it affects me so. But I hear about it, like it or not. Terrible things.

    The rain was magnificent!!! Sorry to hear about your flood. Stop by for turp. xo

  5. This is the most moving post I've read on Haiti thus far. I keep desperately wanting to write about it, and I haven't been able to utter a word yet. I'm so glad that you did, and I have to add that your work is very meaningful in the wider scope. Always we need art. Always we need beauty. You mention nourishment and balance, and I think art is one of the greatest sources of both of these things. You are a gift, my friend.

    Oh, and that photo of breakfast made me want to come right over and sit down in your kitchen.

    xoxo Gigi

  6. Wonderful post.There's a time for everything and everything at the right time.That rainbow is beautiful, its a while since I saw one but I live in hope.

  7. Oh. This is beautiful. And much needed today. Thank you for a little beauty, and a little hope.

  8. What an incredible post; beautiful consciousness, about two worlds, or maybe more than that..
    Wonderful Images.

  9. This is one of the most beautiful posts I've read in a very long time. My husband and I still tune in to Haiti on the news, but in order not to fall into a spiral, we also watch our saved DVR runs of Jeopardy. At first, we felt guilty for watching anything but Haiti news...but it's a coping mechanism with such tragedy on a massive scale.

  10. We listened to many MLK Jr speeches too...feeling both discouraged because in many ways there has been little progress, but in other ways great changes have occurred. Same feeling with Haiti. So very heart-wrenching, and the guilt floods in. So glad you found solace in your studio! so beautiful. have you read terry tempest william's book "finding beauty in a broken world" ? you'd love it. it made me weep. this post made me weep. you're oh so wonderful.

  11. It seems that Haiti is on all our minds right now. You've written so beautifully, with such wisdom and compassion here. Thank you.

  12. Your images and words are so beautiful and comforting, thank you.


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