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Fault Line

January 22, 2010

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

My senses are bombarded.  How many times must I witness the horror in Haiti to know that there are tens of thousands of people feared dead due to the catastrophic earthquake, buried beneath demolished schools, hospitals and homes, and tens of thousands more that are now homeless and hungry in the chaos, desperate for assistance? How many times is enough to make me feel guilty if I smile today? How many times is enough to make me feel helpless if I can’t throw more money at the problem to fix it?

I have turned off, tuned out and hung up.

It’s not because I don’t care. It’s because watching their pain repeatedly doesn’t make it better. I have donated. Realistically, there is nothing more I can do but pray.

Dirt RoadEveryone has an emergency exit  – a place far from the external and internal noises that distract us; a place so quiet you can hear HIS whisper. My method to escape madness depends where I am and ranges from creating to reading to beachcombing to hiking in the woods.  I’m adaptable. Regardless of how I get there, I know the way.

Currently, it consists of walking along the private dirt road that circles the property behind the Fairfield House to the river. The walk is a mile and the boys join me. I’m not sure how many more times Buster will be able to make this walk. It’s not a race so if the old man needs to stop and rest, I am happy to oblige. He especially likes it on days like today when the air is brisk and the sun is shining. No saber toothed killer green head flies in sight.





Scout, a Rat Terrier that I found on CraigsList, is two years old and the fastest dog I’ve ever seen. He can easily do ten laps to my one. I am sure I see sparks flying from his feet, perhaps Mercury would have been a better suited name.

With each step I leave another worry behind. With less worries blocking my view, I start to notice the beauty that surrounds me. I have gotten into the habit of bringing binoculars  because I never know what I will discover – snow geese, hawks, falcons, owls, fox, coyotes – to name a few.

By the time I reach the river I have my answers.

River BankLife will always have pain and suffering, but when we are forced to be a daily spectator, the pain spreads. We feel helpless, become depressed and disillusioned. We fixate on it – not wanting to see the horror but unable to turn away. While in this trance, we lose sight of what’s around us.

There is something we can do. Everyday people suffer silently.  They survive their own personal earthquakes. Their world is shaken, turned upside down and sometimes destroyed. There is no mass media attention.  We cannot help every nameless face we see on the news but we can touch the lives of those within reach and make a difference.  We can save the world one person at a time.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2010 2:18 am

    Beautifully written, and completely true Thank you for your wisdom and your words. (Thank you also for your support and sweetness in the comments that you leave for me…I appreciate it more than you know!) xoxo Corey

  2. January 23, 2010 7:02 am

    Beautiful post. I agree with you wholeheartedly! Sometimes it’s so hard to escape all the sadness in the world. We do what we can and maybe all that we can do is to help the ones closest to us. It’s a struggle to stay happy at times. But I find love and happiness in my family especially with my three grandsons who are full of love and happiness in the hope of the future.

  3. January 23, 2010 7:59 am

    To turn ‘off’ or ‘put aside’ is one of the hardest things to do. Reality hits from all sides.. and we were not meant to endure such hardships of others. WE will have our turn and when it comes others will say.. “oh that is soo awful” and yet they’ll turn away. Some will stay for us trying to endure or understand what we’re going through, seeing the pity on their faces is not what I long for when I realize just how much ‘doo doo’ I’m in.

    Power of prayer works so much stronger.. asking for strength for them and for you. WE will never understand His ways nor the reasons.. but He did give us the power of prayer to help us heal. Let Him do his works, ” Thy Will be done” and ask for hope, joy, peace and happiness through love.

    with love,

    ps.. Buster and Scout know you better than you know yourself.. follow their lead.

  4. January 23, 2010 8:27 am

    I agree.

  5. January 23, 2010 9:14 am

    I couldn’t agree more. You’re pictures are lovely and I liked seeing the pictures of Buster and Scout.

  6. January 23, 2010 9:51 am

    Good morning Deborah 🙂

    Beautiful post and I agree wholeheartedly. There’s only so much sadness a person can endure by watching the images on the screen before they become submerged in it. I’ve done it several times.. 9/11… Katrina.. at some point we have to say enough and move away from all of it.

    A walk to the water with two beloved companions sounds wonderful. I think I’ll follow your lead and take the family out to do the same 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend!


    PS I’m glad you found the answer you were looking for, but if you ever want to know anything else, just shoot me an email, so you don’t have to wait for me to do a Q&A again 🙂

  7. January 23, 2010 10:40 am

    Walking always make me feel better. Today I’m taking the kids to the river too! Ours is a working harbor so it looks much different than yours does, but it holds the same healing properties. Hopefully we’ll enjoy some fresh air and laughter (along with the usually Mom stuff; stay on the sidewalk, look for cars, don’t run over your sister!). I think I’ll take along my camera to record the events! Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. January 23, 2010 11:04 am

    I do not own a TV by choice, so I am not immersed in the Haiti tragedy like I was with 911. But I do not move away from all of it. I’ve gone through some very difficult times, and thought I was alone and no one cared. Human suffering is ongoing, daily, in every corner of the world. It is on the street where we live, and in the eyes of strangers at the grocery store. I know. I was that stranger in the grocery store.

    I walk into it, praying for those who feel afraid, forgotten, lost and alone. God has it all under control – but it helps me feel better to ask Him and thank Him for what I cannot do.

  9. January 23, 2010 11:44 am

    i like the photos of your pups and the water….

    also put a place at the bottom of my page for a “thanks” and link from awards….that’s the best my noodlehead can do for today. i’m off to learn about bee keeping….

  10. Jennifer permalink
    January 23, 2010 12:12 pm

    YES. Perfectly worded. I’m the same way; when I want to clear my head or remember that God is in control, all I have to do is go outside and take a look around me at His extraordinary creation. Reminds me of His HUGE love!

  11. Pondside permalink
    January 23, 2010 5:12 pm

    I like your emergency exit – in fact it looks a lot like mine, except mine is beside the ocean.
    Haiti and the horror of the earthquake are too much to take in. The best I can do is to send money and pray.

  12. ain't for city gals permalink
    January 23, 2010 5:47 pm

    Thank you for these words…I feel them and I ask myself why do I feel this way…is it because I don’t care..etc. I have been without TV for many years and have started watching it again in the past year. It is not a good thing, I’m thinking. We would be so much better off with our own thoughts as we are walking…thanks for giving me the push to take the TV out of the house once again….

  13. January 23, 2010 7:13 pm

    I too thoroughly agree with what you wrote. You just feel helpless…..

    Gill in Canada

  14. January 23, 2010 10:18 pm

    I would love to read your book!! Oh wait, have you written it yet??? You need to get on it right away! (forgive me if you are already a famous author!)

    The images of Haiti that they are showing, especially of the little ones, rip my heart out. If I stay tuned too long, somewhere deep inside, little questions start surfacing- and I don’t like that. Who am I to question the whens, hows and whys! I just know that God is all knowing and one day we will understand it better. I guess this the “looking through a glass darkly” part of life.

    * I was thrilled to find out that it’s you getting the little vases. They really are cuties. Make sure to pick a handful of posies to put in them this spring when you, Scout, and Buster go down to the river!


  15. January 23, 2010 10:56 pm

    Ah, you wrote the post I was so feeling in my heart. My soul balm was to accompany my den leader husband and his pack of wolves today and do some good where I could~in my own community. I like to think every little bit helps and it may cause a ripple effect.

  16. January 23, 2010 11:59 pm

    Reflective, thoughtful post. You know, last night I watched the Hope For Haiti Now benefit concert, which was really good. It was the first time I’ve really seen the devastation, in the stories they shared during the telethon. I am not a big news watcher, and like you, have tried to avoid the media about it, because it will just make me depressed and cry, and really, what can I do by just watching it? I know it’s awful, it’s the worst kind of awful. But immersing myself in harrowing images will not change anything. I sent in my donation of what I could afford. There is nothing else I can do, except to live each day to it’s fullest, take chances, pray, have hope, be thankful, and tell my loved ones that I love them. And remember that life is fragile and precious for us all.
    I do wish I could adopt an orphan Haitian child though…..

  17. January 24, 2010 10:42 pm

    Deborah, that was such a beautifully written post. I understand! I’ve felt terrible that I haven’t been able to watch a lot of the Haiti footage, but I just can’t process it all. I just break down each time. I’m so glad that you are able to escape a bit by your walks! How beautiful! How old is Buster? We have an old, 14 yo corgi who is now the granny of the family. Even short walks wear her out, but she seems to enjoy being out. Like you say, lots of breaks for her, too!

    What a beautiful thought about touch the lives of those within reach and making a difference – this is so true:)

  18. January 25, 2010 12:28 am

    Ugh! Your so sweet! I am certainly not the most eloquent person you have ever ‘talked’ to, but you my dear know how to put my sentiments into words. I think its all we can do to help as much as we can and be thankful for everything that surrounds us. 🙂

  19. January 25, 2010 8:00 am

    It’s so tempting to stay glued to the TV, only to compound the feeling of helplessness, and hopelessness. Lately, I keep thinking of the suffering in my own neighborhood, perhaps even on my own road, that I’m oblivious too. I love your escape route. I need to find one of my own.

  20. January 25, 2010 10:56 am

    So much of life is a delicate balance — like caring deeply for others and yet not being drowned by the undertow. We hiked deep in the backcountry for several days one summer. It was remarkable how not knowing what was happening in the world was so soul soothing.

    Lovely shots. Those adorable dogs would make any walk more fun!


  21. January 25, 2010 5:25 pm

    So well said… I couldn’t watch the fundraising show on Friday. It becomes too much. I appreciate what you wrote about the power of individuals to look inside themselves to repair what is needed. I forget this so often – especially with family members. A valuable lesson…

  22. January 26, 2010 1:40 am

    So true. I often wonder what will happen when the cameras leave…and why we can all only come together in times of crisis and not in times of peace. Times like these I find myself asking way more questions than there are answers for.

  23. January 27, 2010 9:46 am

    I agree that for our own well being, sometimes we do need to turn it off. Our tears won’t help people to be fed or receive medical attention. There are so many over there helping, I have faith that they are doing the best they can.

    I also had to turn it off for my kids. It’s been a tough couple weeks for them, a lot of grown up things to deal with and they are having trouble processing it all. Lots of questions about the earthquake, our dog’s passing and the death of a teacher’s husband. It’s just too much for their little hearts and my 4 year old asked me today when he is going to go to heaven. I tried to answer the best I could without crying but the truth is that seeing them have to know of the sadness in the world is very hard to take.

  24. January 27, 2010 3:26 pm

    Buster and Scout…too cute. It’s so hard to look away when the world is hurting but sometimes you just have to ~

  25. January 28, 2010 11:11 am

    Much needed! Sometimes these terrible things have a way of pulling us all down with them. A little of that is needed to remind us to be compassionate towards one another, but eventually, we need reminders like this that say it’s okay to take a breather and regroup ourselves for a while. Thank you! Celeste

  26. January 28, 2010 7:44 pm

    So beautifully and eloquently spoken. Thank you.
    I prayed, I gave, prayed more (still) and realized I need to DO where I’m at…

  27. Weezie permalink
    January 29, 2010 5:50 pm

    Thank you….for your message and for your blog.

  28. February 4, 2010 2:42 pm

    Goodness – with 2 jobs and a farm…you might as well ask me who are my favorite bloggers! I have taken a detour back to the classics..currently reading Jane Eyre. – oh crap ..did I spell Eyre right??? ha ha..

  29. February 13, 2010 12:27 pm

    What you say is so true. Some days I feel guilty for being safe, snug, warm and with a full tummy. We donated to Doctors without Borders and what else can we do? Just be nice to those around us and be kind to the earth.

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