Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fourteen days

One´s world can be spun a startling number of times in fourteen days.

Being in a historic earthquake; the consequent upheaval and uncertainty; as well as profound devastation in much of Southern Chile.

Near daily aftershocks-including three (7.2, 6.9, 6.0) within a half an hour the day before yesterday that were accompanied by a tsunami alert with Caribineros sending all people and vehicles to the hills. This required us to evacuate all students from the school, each leaving only in the company of a parent.

The funeral of a 97 year old rscj and having the incredible experience of accompanying her to her final resting place in the mausoleum by singing and praying aloud as we walked the halls and courtyards. Other families that we passed who were also mourning would reach out and touch the casket-one putting a flower on top-most stopping what they were doing, turning to face us, and quietly signing themselves. This mausoleum, with the cracks and crumbles that mark the effects of the recent quake. What an amazing thought, that even to those who have died, the earth still speaks.

The news of the advancing illness of another rscj.

Continued news of my grandfather´s declining health and the toll it is taking on my grandmother.

The absolute desire to be doing something concrete that can help the people who have suffered such devastation, losing everything and sometimes, everyone. The desire to go help our sisters in Concepción by being two more ears to listen, two more arms to carry, one more voice to speak of love and hope amidst the fog of confusion and pain and overwhelmedness.

And, along with that coming to know with great pain and difficulty that the continuing problems with my knee and leg do not permit that now... and that instead, for the sake of everyone, the responsible thing to do at this time is return to the United States, figure out what I need to do to get my knee back in order, do that, and go from there.

So I shall.

This coming week, I leave Chile with my tears adding to her glaciers, my sighs adding to the Atacama winds, and my hope to return living in the song and cry of her people.


moira said...

Have a safe trip back to the USA. Hope your leg and knee take the cure here so that you feel 100% swiftly. Keep on with your blog; I know several people who drop by to visit.
Love and prayer,
for aashla
IT Chair

Helen said...

Dear Kim,
I am with you these days and hope you do not find it too hard to say good-bye.
Love and prayer, Helen

Margaret said...


I feel close to your tears, pain and that strange gladness of having been there to share this moment in the lives of the people of Chile.

I look forward to welcoming you to Rome in September.