Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wolf Moon and The Mountainous Land

January Waxing Crescent Moon  
by Frank McCabe

Weather forecasters are predicting high winds and several days of rain—up to 5 inches—to arrive here on the Northern California Coast. Clouds have obscured the first moon of the 2010, the crescent Wolf Moon, which won't be full till January 30. In Northern California it's a wintry moon, but not quite as deeply wintry as our last one. Looking around, I can already see the earliest signs of spring.

I went to the bookstore yesterday and came home with a three books from my queue. I look forward to the coziness of reading by the fire as the rain falls.

My coziness, however will be troubled some.

A media hermit, with the exception of blogs, I'm aware of the earthquake in Haiti. I've spared myself from seeing actual images. But I've read descriptions. I hold deep sadness about the many thousands who have lost their lives and their homes. The immediate suffering in Haiti is only the most recent calamity to befall the people who've lived there.

Haiti means "Mountainous Land" in the language of its original people, the Taino. Haiti seems to have been something of a paradise in its pre-Columbian days. Columbus dramatically increased suffering there. I've read horrifying accounts of his torturous activities there. Spanish conquerors renamed Haiti Hispaniola. Columbus wrote first of many sad chapters of a tome that is still being written today.

It's very difficult for me to understand why a former paradise, the Mountainous Island, has been transformed into a center of so much suffering. Why?

I cannot know.  I hold their suffering in my heart, seek to find some peace here, and send that peace prayerfully to the Mountainous Land and all the people and all the life it holds.

May the Wolf Moon bring better fortune to all the world, especially to Haiti, the Mountainous Land.

Waxing winter moon,
Haiti earthquake—thousands die
May soft love-light shine


steven said...

hi dan - thanks for this lovely and thoughtful posting. my brother lives north of you in vancouver and he has shared with me the trials, tribulations, and blessings of life on the west coast. high up on the list is the need to get used to and eventualy make friends with the rain!! enjoy your books my friend!!! steven

The Pollinatrix said...

The "why" is indeed bewildering. I have been doing just like you, Dan, and "holding their suffering in my heart." I've been praying for them daily.

Your new header made me ooh and aah. I love the way it now looks like stars falling down your page.

Dan Gurney said...

Oh, steven, I feel mostly blessings, many blessings for the place where I live. I'm up to my eyeballs in grace, and i am grateful to have the peace realize it.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi Polly. The suffering is part of the whole picture. This sort of thing brings the Toaist and Buddhist in me quite to the forefront. As Lao Tzu might say, we can only know happiness in its relation with sadness. Holding both with gentleness and kindness sometimes stretches me, though.

The Pollinatrix said...

Stretching, indeed. The good thing about holding them together is that I find it diminishes the fear-nature of the "why" question.

Dan Gurney said...

For me, the prominent emotion surrounding these things is sadness. Sometimes anger, but beneath the anger is sadness. Fear not so much.

Barry said...

A very thoughtful post Dan, and some interesting background.

I wish I'd been spared the images from Haiti myself.

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Barry. I'm pleased you enjoyed the post. The more I shelter myself from the disaster that the broadcast media has become the happier and more useful I can be.

I am amazed at how much national and worldwide calamity and disaster still seeps into my TV and radio free house.

It can be helpful to remember that, say, 150 years ago, people would learn of disasters only if they occured nearby where they could actually do something in person to help. Otherwise, they were spared all the bad news that was far away and about which they could do little.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Tender, compassionate sentiments Dan. Beyond the incomprehensible suffering there, there are many tortured minds out here...trying to understand...

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Bonnie. So true.

In days of yore, an earthquake might physically shake, what, a million people? Most only a little.

Today, thanks to the Internet and broadcast media, major earthquakes shake up maybe a billion people. Being emotionally shook up is a form of suffering, too. Today natural and human disasters touch many orders of magnitude more people. That's just one reason why media hemitage has some benefit.

Alden Smith said...

Very sensitive and thought provoking post Dan. Such huge apparently random disasters always provoke us to ask those hard questions for which there are at best only partial answers, and even these partial answers aren't enough to stop us from questioning the very meaning of our human experiences and existence.

Dan Gurney said...

Thank you, Pal. This far along in life I think more about asking good questions than getting any real answers. Jeez, I'm not sure I would know I got the right answer if it was blinking in neon lights.