Friday, November 19, 2010

right now; a rant in verse

Right now
I rest on my couch
with my cat
a solid day having been spent
in my house, the rain
light-showering the trees out
side and the drive.
The drive rests in styrofoam sleeves
in a box
full of footage I can't see, captured
images of people, before the outbreak
turned, before the shots were fired before
when I was there, only a month ago.

What do I know about it?
I've only been there 3 times.  A foreigner.
foreigner with a cause, a camera, and a computer.....

We all mean well!  Don't get me wrong.

But some times,  I do wonder, seeing the t-
shirts matching with "save haiti" plastered
in easy font a pastel flag of hope and pig-
tails flying behind at the gas station,
(where we had lunch, a cafe of international
proportions on the way to Trutier, a shrine
to bad planning and the Port au Prince city
dump), whether this trip, this "mission"
you might say, with the matching t's and the
morning prayer meetings.

I don't know what I want to say about it except.

Just by the nature of traveling to Haiti people think
I'm going there to "help".

I honestly feel like I get more help from the Haitian
people I meet than I bring with my camera my limited Kreyol
and my good intentions!  It's SOIL who is really doing
the work on the ground in Haiti; I'm so lucky
I get to tell their story!

See that's the thing.  Here I've had a gentle day,
idyllic really, so mellow with my desk all cleared
off and my closet, magically organized and my film
still trapped on the drive.  But when I think
of the people who don't have homes, the people
here in Oakland, the people in San Francisco, Palo
Alto, Port au Prince, New York City, Belize, Jamaica,
Ghana, India, Afghanistan, France.  How does anyone do it?

Living under a tarp?

Sleeping on a side
walk? Under a blanket with toes
sticking out or in a tent, babies lined up
no kitchen, no bathroom, no closet no job.

I have recently traveled to Haiti and so yes, I can say that the level
of poverty in Haiti is distinct than here in the U.S. or other places
I have traveled but poverty.  Poverty is no relative concept for millions
of people who cohabitate this planet.  Poverty goes far beyond
the number of dollars in one's bank account just the same way wealth

What you don't have doesn't determine your existence -- your value --
any more than what you do!

Nonetheless, certain things have been determined as basic.
Human rights.




And that is where I cannot
be silent.  And that is where I do
raise my voice.

Ten years ago!  Ten years ago the U.S. blocked
aid for clean water solutions for Haiti.

The year: 2000.  Ten years of water purifications in Haiti
would have really been a major impact!

But now.  Now we have a cholera epidemic brewing,
we have people.  People living under these tarps, people
whose plight beckoned billions of dollars in aid from around
the whole world.  Eleven months ago.

Eleven months and still the aid - MOST OF THE AID - has
not been distributed.

I know it seems like one can't really do anything about it sitting
here in our homes all cozy after dinner and preparing for a night
of sleep (most of us on beds with sheets and everything!) but I don't
understand how to deal with my anger about this situation.

It's not right.  People should not be dying of cholera.  Just as people
should not be dying of starvation either - or violence through war or
civil unrest.....

I recognize that I'm speaking in very broad terms.

I am speaking in my own terms, and that is another hidden
privilege that comes from being white, american, middle class
and relatively well-educated....

My friends, I do give thanks for my computer,
my cause, my camera, and the cash I was given
to make this film.

May it shed new light on a complicated situation;
may it bring forward the unnecessary nature of
much injustice:  simple solutions, cash-flow, and
sustainable jobs for Haitians are already being

Holy crap!!  (Toilets never smelled so good......)

Hope for Haiti is hope for all humanity!!!

Bless you for reading my food for thought, and may you have a Thanksgiving full of gratitude, good food, and positive vibrations.....