Sunday, April 19, 2009

in haiti

i'm in haiti this week with some friends of mine. wanna read a page from my journal?

les cayes, haiti

Usually when I write I'm at my computer. The words come and go and when I don't care for the shape or flow it's easy to change it. I backspace or delete. I cut and paste. All of these adjustments leave no trace of themselves, and I'm left with a thought that is clean and satisfying.

In Haiti, I go back to pen and paper and this is fitting. Corrections require something more radical, and a kind of scar is left behind. Once the ink touches the fibers of the paper I can only change my mind by scratching out what's already there. It's a violent act in a way, at least for a writer. And sometimes what I'm left with is a confused and rambling tangle of thoughts.

Everything is like this in Haiti. The simplest act can demand extraordinary energy and effort. Here, we say, "de gaje" on a regular basis. It means essentially that you just make do with what you have. Most of the time you don't have much so you leave behind a tangle of your good intentions, scars of what you wanted to say or do, scribbling hopes. The landscape is covered with the ink of things scratched out and rewritten over and over.

So I'm writing these words here in a journal and giving it to God. He knows what I wanted to say.


  1. happy to hear form your Ms T...keep smilingt :)

  2. Hey Terri (this is Tammy). This is my new blog.

  3. love it. great analogy. how true!

  4. Sending love from Africa all the way to Haiti,

    Every little act of grace matters,

    Thank you for being in this world,


  5. im coming back again here to say hello..and much love to you too :)

  6. Hey Terri

    was good to catch up with reading your blog...

    take care


  7. Beautiful writing. I've come back a couple times since you first posted just to read it again. I love the thoughts you shared. Reminds me of going forward after making a mistake. You leave tracks but they're part of the landscape of your life.

  8. Hey Sweet You,
    Saw you commented on Jenni's blog and thought oh! Sweet you!!! How I miss you!!!
    Just wanted you to know that you are loved and thought of often! Big hug xx

  9. i like you and i like the way you write.
    your description of the pen and paper were great.
    in life, we are thoughts and pens and papers.

    God bless you this new year!

  10. Hey Terri. Do you know of any opportunities to join a team on the ground? I would love to go and bring some friends.

    Christian Ray Flores

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.