I am a raft without a rudder, adrift on a sea of pain. During these long months I have been peeling away like an onion, layer after layer, changing; I am not the same woman, my experience (daughter) has given me an opportunity to look inside myself and discover interior spaces—empty, dark, strangely peaceful—I have never explored before. These are holy places, and to reach them I must travel a narrow road blocked with many obstacles, vanquish the beasts of imagination that jump out in my path. When terror paralyzes me, I close my eyes and give myself to it with the sensation of sinking into storm-tossed waters, pounded by the fury of the waves. For a few instants that are a true eternity, I think I am dying, but little by little I comprehend that, despite everything, I am still alive because in the ferocious whirlpool there is a merciful shaft through which I can breathe. Unresisting, I let myself be dragged down, and gradually the fear recedes. I float into an underwater cave, and rest there for a while, safe from the dragons of despair. Raw and bleeding inside, I cry without tears, as animals may cry, but then the sun comes up and the cat comes to ask for breakfast, and I hear [my husband’s] footsteps in the kitchen, and the odor of coffee spreads through the house. Another day is beginning, a day like any other day.
—Isabel Allende, from her memoir Paula, pg 272
Today my thoughts and awareness are with all those who are currently suffering in the aftermath of Sandy. The planet has made another revolution and it has brought another morning… just as there will be another and another and another.
It is my hope that the pain that the people that I know and love are feeling can become the catalyst for expanding into the great stillness of the water that is only discovered when we dive deep within. Things are lost, but it is my prayer that this will make room and space for people to be found.