Haiti, the agony

Posted in SharonSpeak on January 18th, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

For a long time Haiti has been a grim and desperate country. In The Comedians Graham Greene said, Impossible to deepen that night. Tragically, with unfolding horror, the night in Haiti has deepened further and this time it’s not even the underbelly of corruption and violence, that acted as a backdrop to The Comedians. It’s an extreme act of nature, as with the tsunami in Thailand, where the earth is taken from under people’s feet, and in a matter of hours all previously known life shatters into a million pieces.
Homeless and helpless, a million people are wandering the streets.
5000 prisoners have broken loose from the jail in Port au Prince and are out there.
The descent into anarchy is unravelling, as desperation erupts into anger
Hospitals are overrun. The pace of the Aid Operation is painfully slow.
Oh the darkness and deepness of Haiti’s terrible long and unending night.
How blessed are we, and how much we need to bear their agony in mind, and our gift of the still ordered life.

New Year’s Eve and things were going so well in the restaurant. Until we succumbed to that 21st century worm in our heads

Posted in SharonSpeak on January 2nd, 2010 by Sharon Feinstein

New Year’s Eve and things were going so well in the restaurant. On our 9th course, 2nd bottle of wine and 20th resolution, the atmosphere was warm, cosy and loving. There were still more courses to come, different wines to try, and ideas to discover. But panic set in because it was already 11 o’clock and the dreaded cab had come to fetch us for London’s most amazing firework display fireworks on the Thames. Half of us said, Let’s give him a tenner and send him away. This is too much fun, we’re warm, relaxed and in the groove. But there’s always this little worm in our heads which says, It could be even better. There’s more out there. What if we aren’t having the best, biggest, most dazzling time and we miss out on something. Isn’t that part of all of our lives in this 21st century Western world ? Stand up if it’s not you. Because of this, New Year’s Eve went downhill from there, but I am hoping it has taught me a lesson on life’s journey of lessons. We were happy, laughing, feeling close, but NO, we wanted more. So we left the rest of the food, and bundled into the taxi. Within ten minutes we were in a Bangkok style traffic jam, and then discovered the quote we’d been given for the taxi was only half the real price. Roads were cordoned off everywhere, so we thought we would just get out and walk, but the streams of people looked like the million pilgrims pouring into St Peter’s Square on Christmas Eve. Tension mounted, and ah, blame began, who booked this taxi, why did we leave the restaurant, what the hell should we do now, whose fault is this. I pointed out it was 10 minutes to 2010 but the accusations and stress levels were now aflame. Don’t really need to say much more. We did, in fact, return to the restaurant and skulked back to our table and sheepishly ordered more wine. We did kiss each other Happy New year and try to pick up where we left off. But the calm warm roll we’d had was gone, and it’s taken till today to come back. Happy New year to everyone out there. I, for one, am going to appreciate what I DO have in 2010 and not constantly push myself to have ever so much more.