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“On life's journey

Faith is nourishment,
Virtuous deeds are a shelter,
Wisdom is the light by day and
Right mindfulness is the protection by night.
If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him;
If he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom. “

Para Haití
(Myrna Miranda-O’Neill)

How can I write about a country

whose air I have not even felt against my face.

A country I once imagined beautifully colored by

a vegetation lush, alive and generously fruitful.

A country inviting the savory imagination in Creole notes

to songs nourished from a past of fearless confrontation of the

What is there in a country, whose people are baptized in the name of

poverty and starvation?
to comfort anyone’s soul?

Images of deep sorrow and pain, are not alone for these are images
with the spirit and strength to survive and keep dignity in one’s eyes
Eyes travelling far, transcending to places that only the poorest of the
poor can see.
Because they see with their soul nourished by ancient hope
of freedom calling
of something greater than oneself
of something affirming a deeper meaning to life itself.

It is the strength of a people that frees me to say

I see a greater beauty and hear the sweetest song
of a humanity that shames the greed of the oppressor,
and sounds off the warning
of a prosperity in the hands of the fortune and opportunity hunters
waiting to feed of the weakness of the beaten souls.
This is the strength of those who have suffered all.

Can the same hands that rescue the living form the rubble
reach out to the poor, the marginalized, and persecuted ones
with the “wrong skin color, the wrong gender, the wrong age,
the wrong class, the wrong nationality.”
For Haiti is in the backyards of the developed world
Haiti is in the streets of your cities,
beaten mercilessly to death, shot in “self defense”
exploited and feared.

Can the same compassionate hands extend kindness

to the Haiti that has been exploding and revolting,
while the world continued in a business as usual drumbeat?

Is the Haiti in makeshift rafts, embarking in the same journey

like those before them, refugees then
now in power and wealth,
not worthy of compassion also?
Is the image of death and spread out corpses of more impact
than the image of those suffering a life of disgrace?
Is their journey punishable by incarceration,
while the journey of those others is remembered and celebrated?

Can we have compassion, but not justice?

Blessed are those transcendental lives, who journey alongside Ti Noel.

For in their power of imagination they create and enjoy paradise,
where nothing can destroy them.

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