Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A Moment of Silence

A little girl lies dead on the ground, her thin body stretched out in the dirt. I see her on the 6o'clock news, and wonder what her name was, and what she was thinking right before it happened, and was she scared, and did it hurt? Her father is hunched over her, too stunned to cry. Grieving not just for his little girl, but for 160 000 souls and more. He wipes the dirt from her face. I cry.

At times like these, words fail me. I wish I could be eloquent and significant, but all I can do in an attempt to join the millions of mourning voices is offer this, a moment of silence in honour of the recent tsunami victims, and for all those who are dying needless deaths around the world each day.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

And millions of us here in Asia join you in your mourning. It was a very nice Sunday here where we had picnickers blissfully enjoying their year end break until the killer waves came....

KaiserSoze

amy said...

It seems to me that in times like these we draw closer together, whether online or in-person, to rest our heads on the shoulders of those we care most deeply about. It's been heart-wrenching to watch the coverage, but we grieve along with the rest of the world, ever-faithful in acknowledging the souls passed on, despite never having known their names. I know we wish that if, God forbid, the same tragedy were to befall us, the rest of the world would do the same.

citygurl said...

one of my good friend's girlfriend was in phuket and ran for her life and managed to escape, but barely...another friend of mine had been in India for the last month and we haven't heard from him yet, but I think he was farther north and knowing him he probably went south to try to help people...it's insane, isn't it? It's so unbelievabley sad and bizzarre and terrible, and the big fear is that 60,000 people more will die because of diseases...how do you bury the bodies quickly enough to save the living?

All you can do really is donate to the red cross or another similiar relief effort...

Karass said...

I wonder what their last thoughts were, what pointless grudges they held, what their hopes and dreams were, what they wished for, what they wanted, who they loved, who misses them...and then I think about my own pointless grudges, my hopes and dreams...sometimes tragedy gives the most profound perspective, it's a pity that this tragedy seems like the only way to unmoore people from the superficialities of this modern paced life (myself included).

Cheex said...

It was a sad, sad day when I first heard about the tsunamis. Hearing the news today, the death toll has risen over a hundred times what I initially heard.

My heart - and my moment of silence - goes out to these victims.

Jay said...

It's so hard to understand the meaning of it all, and that's what makes it most difficult for people to cope.

At the same time, I wonder what is going on in that part of the world. Apparently while the tourists there are fleeing, trying to get home to their loved ones when their passports have all floated away, other tourists are still arriving because they've paid for their vacation and they want to see the carnage...that really upsets me.
And they're saying it could be weeks before they clear the roads and get to the smaller villages, which means that many more deaths will occur, and it seems so senseless.

Jason was talking to a cheery woman in India yesterday, she was inquiring about his "Christian winter festival" (Christmas), and he asked her how things were on her end...the news about the tsunami was a complete surprise to her, she hadn't heard of it. I don't know if this was just one woman who was ignorant of the news, or if there are pockets of places without communication right now. It was very strange. It worries me to think that if we can't get news to the people, then how will we get food and clean water to the people who need it most?

Harry said...

Life really is like a beach. Inconsistant and ever-changing; most-often beautiful, but sometimes deadly.


And it separates two distinct worlds; one familiar, while one presents us with a mystery we struggle to understand.


God called home many of His children the day after Christmas.

Anonymous said...

in response to the above comment:

the lord giveth and the lord taketh away, but lately the taketh awaying seems disporportionate to the givething... from southpark

pointless pointless pointless taketh awaying

The Andrew said...

Hi Jay(s):

It's almost intangible, isn't it? That instant devastation. Hopefully, it'll breed life and love. It's a terrible thing to say, I know, in the wakes of thousands. But it's so frustrating. I work 2-3 days a week in the World Financial Center within full view of the WTC "pit" now unaffectionately called by so many people. Sometimes, it seems that nothing changes. I don't know what I'm trying to say only that I'm happy you wrote what you did and I hope that you know that I don't write to be mean but only to get everything off my chest while providing a perplexed chuckle. I think eloquence and significance derives from intentions regardless of the words or syntax. You said it better. G'nite, the Andrew.

transience said...

it really is a tragedy. life is so fragile.

random-girl said...

God bless everyone that has spared a thought or a prayer to those in need. It touches me to know that people all around the world are reaching out in whatever way they can to help.

-Lisa, Malaysia-

Anonymous said...

Why were the people so close to the beach? Didn't they know that tsunamis are dangerous?

Rimmy said...

Why were they so close to the beach?

Well, the tourists were there because it was warm and that's what there were there to enjoy.

The locals were there because that's where they live, and there aren't any mountains next to the beaches in any of those countries.

Also, the total lack of warning might have had something to do with it. Nobody called anybody to say "Yo dudes, 500 km/h tidal wave coming your way - RUN!".

Bear witness to the result.

Anonymous said...

I think in the future they should have some PFDs (personal floatation devices) available. Also, the Red Cross provides swimming lessons here in North America, perhaps they should offer these in the affected areas. All I know is the best thing we can do is donate blankets, used clothes, food and water. They don't want money cause it often gets lost in the 'system'.

Anonymous said...

Also, we shouldn't forget the whole muslim 'wildcard' in this equation...