Sunday, January 24, 2010


Behind My Frosted Windows


It is impossible to wander this planet and not be humbled in the face of its abundant curiousities, wonders I can never hope to understand, beauty I cannot grasp. So many mysteries. So many questions. Why do I have the same crooked index finger that my father had? How does The Songwriter manage to play the piano so beautifully, by ear? How does Edward know to come sit by the front door a full five minutes before I pull in the driveway?

Why do some of us recognize true love early on, whilst others spend years in the searching. Why is selfishness so often justified, greed so often rewarded?

Why do the innocent suffer?


I have sat behind my frosted windows these past couple of weeks, listening and reading of the horror that is Haiti, frustrated in my impotence, heartsick at the very thought of what those people are facing. I give my money, I say my prayers. I wonder why I was born where I was, why I am comfortable and safe, surrounded by love - warm, well-fed, and hopeful.


Call me idealistic, but I have always truly believed those old sayings from the sixties, the ones that exhorted us to “bloom where we’re planted”, to “be the change we wish to see in the world”, to “think globally, act locally”. In the work that I do for my neighborhood, my community, in the smiles and the kindness I try to show to the strangers I meet every day, I like to think it is making a tiny bit of difference, warming just a corner of creation and that, perhaps, just perhaps, that wee bit of warmth might spread to other people, other places. And then I am knocked to my knees in despondency by the magnitude of suffering in a place I know so very little about, lost in my inability to help or even comprehend.


As of Thursday evening, Americans had given over $355 million to the various organizations that are attempting to alleviate the suffering in Haiti. I encourage us all to contribute where we can.

The Red Cross is accepting donations

HERE.


Also, The Songwriter has offered his song, Brand New Day, for a free download at a special site for Haiti relief sponsored by Paste Magazine.

You may access the site

HERE.

Just make a donation through one of the organizations on the Paste site, and you'll be able to download the song. Once you've made your donation, and you're ready to download, simply scroll down the song list till you see his name, Pat Terry.

Faced with the incomprehensible, we do what we can.

And we pray.


***********************


I have had the echo of this old Stephen Foster song in my head all week.

It just won’t leave.


Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears

While we all sup sorrow with the poor

There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;

Oh, hard times come again no more.


While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay

There are frail forms fainting at the door

Though their voices are silent their pleading looks will say;

Oh, hard times come again no more.


“Tis the song, the sigh of the weary

Hard times, hard times come again no more

Many days you have lingered

Around my cabin door

Oh, hard times come again no more.


by Stephen Foster


Painting above, Winter Mood, 1957 by Nikolai Mikhailovich Romadin

29 comments:

  1. Dear Pamela, So many questions, and all so very poignant, and so few answers. Recently a friend remarked to me, "If you help one person, you help the world". I truly believe that you are doing your share and more.

    The suffering in Haiti is beyond one's imagination. America's aid to those people at this time is impressive; another indication of the enormous generosity of your countrymen and women.

    On a lighter note: each time I return to your site, the more I wish to steal Edward!! Thank you also for your comment on my latest posting to which I have replied.

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  2. Such a lot here Pamela and you put so well what I am feeling inside regarding Haiti.
    Life is full of questions I agree but I guess it would be dull without its mystery; I feel that we are not meant to understand the whys and wherefores in this life, we are here to learn lessons.
    One of my granddaughters has a crooked little finger like I have, we two have a lot in common actually.
    I love the painting, you always find such beauties for us, thank you.

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  3. Beautiful picture ! And a really great post - thank you

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  4. In times like this, many of us are left speechless, wordless. Thanks for expressing so much of what we're feeling...

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  5. During times like this I think there are so many more questions than answers. We sat down and decided early on what we could give - we thought about all that we have, all that we do for fun, it wasn't hard to make out a check. These dear people are in need of such basics-it really does give pause to some of the things we take for granted. I too have a heavy heart- especially the children that are without parents and all of their confusion. Thank you for your words so eloquently put.

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  6. i have always believed in those old saying too, and often say that "things happen for a reason" but there is no ounce of understanding in my mind just now for all the hurt & pain. It feels so minimal the little things we can do, but then i remember its all about the small things, for they all add up. Hoping that you and edward are well, i have been away far too long x

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  7. Beautiful, if sad post and superb photo.

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  8. For those of us who have the comforts, we can strive to help those who don't. One never knows if trouble will be sent our way and who may be there to help us in turn.

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  9. Dear Pamela
    You have beautifully put forward what I think many of us feel.. It is so overwhelming it seems impossible to imagine the devastation and heartbreak...

    You know you are right that each of us can help in a small way... I have posted links to Australian charities and constantly hear of tales of generosity that warm my heart... Thanks for posting this beautiful message for us all... and thanks to the Songwriter also xx Julie

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  10. The devastation in Haiti is hard to imagine and comprehend, even when watching the images and reading the news. And somehow, although we have given money too, E and I still feel like we should somehow do more. But in the face of such destruction and suffering, Pamela, don't question the good you do. I still remember you were the very first person to comment on my blog besides my family. How you found me, just over a week into blogging, was a mystery, and it might sound silly, but without a doubt your comment spread light into my life. The small bits of kindness you put out into the world DO make a difference. Always know that.

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  11. I felt your writing very moving and how many times have I thought these same things. I live in one of the richest countries in the world and take for granted so much while the majority of the world suffers greatly. Each small act or change we make adds up to maker larger changes that can make a difference. I hope the contributions for Haiti continue to be made and prayers sent.

    Gillian

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  12. Dear Pamela,

    Thank your for this moving post--

    You ARE A FORCE FOR GOOD in the world; don't doubt!

    We all need to give what we can... hope and pray and work together. Especially now. This tragic disaster has it's own miracles, not the least of which the way many the world over are joining together to help.

    Thank you BOTH for your unique and heartfelt gifts.

    xo

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  13. Hands across the planet. Wonderful.

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  14. I share your thoughts and questions and hopes, Pamela. Thank you for being such a beautiful and caring voice. xoxo Gigi

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  15. this Stephen Foster song is one of many of his favourites of mine. it pretty much tells the tale. The organization PHI-partners in health is wonderful-Ive donated there before and since the quake they have emailed me daily with their progress-amazing things are happening and I hope many for the Haitians to come. Great sentiments and thank you for saying it so well

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  16. I don't why what happens, happens. But I know that there is goodness in the world. And there is love, and kindness, and beauty, and dreams that come true. For that I am grateful.

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  17. May I suggest having a look at this post:
    http://tidingsofmagpies.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-absolutely-love-this-poem.html
    Let me know what you think!

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  18. Hi,
    Like always, you have a lovely picture and the most brilliant writing. It's about things that matter.

    xo
    Anci

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  19. Pamela...this was very heart wrenching. I try to practice pay it forward in hopes that it helps more than I'll ever know. xoxo

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  20. Dear Pamela,
    I'm sure that you realise that you have done all that you can for the suffweing that is happening in Haiti.
    Here in the U.K. we have obviously sent money but also, many people from the emergency services to go and help.
    I am so desparately sorry for their suffering, and my heart goes out to those that have lost their lives, their friends and families and the friends and families of those that are missing.
    I also hope that people will look on their own doorstep and help those that are suffering close to home, as well. XXXX

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  21. Hello P&E,

    The picture you have chosen is beautiful and helps remind us all to appreciate everything that we have. The world is a very unfair place, which we are unlikely ever to change despite our efforts. But we can always try to lessen the burden for others.

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  22. These are questions that mankind has struggled with since the beginning of time I would imagine...and you voice it so beautifully...I make a daily effort to think globally and act locally and hope to make a tiny difference...Thank you to you and the Songwriter for making such a Big difference...

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  23. Yes I so agree, and possibly I am idealistic too, but I think change does start with each individual. It need us all the pull together and to care. Lovely thoughtful post. suzie. xxx

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  24. Thankyou for the reminder and motivation.. It is the first time I have come across this song, and it has moved me.

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  25. Thank you Pamela; my children emptied their moneyboxes as soon as we saw those first pictures on the news. And we pray.
    Beautifully expressed post, and comments, which I can only echo.

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  26. Pamela, thank you for the offering of the Songwriter's song (thank him) and Foster's song, and your words, your illustrations, your beautiful blog, your beautiful self. This is your offering to a suffering world. I have similar questions that can't be answered, one of them like yours: "why I am comfortable and safe, surrounded by love - warm, well-fed, and hopeful." What we do with what we have is all that matters. When you share what you have so openly, it multiplies out from you. Thank you.

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  27. Pam. You do good. No...you do GREAT. Thank you for a place to go...and thank songwriter for his benevolence too!

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  28. Everyday you do good. Everyday that smile is helping someone.

    You are lovely inside and out.

    Love Renee xoxo

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  29. I love the snoods? I think thats what you called them, they look perfect for our weather here, and the shoes. I am going to get some for sure. Love love them. Very me.
    Yes, isn't it nice to have the time now to enjoy doing things without pressure. Making what you want for whom ever you want for no reason other then you want to. Heck, make something for yourself too. As usual, you've made me smile as did, Edward and Apple in the snoods.
    Is there a speacial pattern for those or do you just knit or crochet in a circle till you have what thickness you want?

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I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at pamela@pamelaterry.net. Thank you for reading!