Winter                                 Waning Moon of Long Nights (New Moon tomorrow)

The day before the journey.  Not a big journey as things go, but a trip.  Ruthie and Gabe, Jon and Jen.  Family.  As we grow older, family tends to take more and more of our focus.  Why?  Because the work world fades away, home and its memories remain.  This is, I imagine, much as it always has been.  I recall a theory from evolutionary biology that says grandparents were a reason for population increases and longevity increases.  We were around for child care.

The usual before trip minutiae:  a stuck garage door, cardboard recycling, packing, picking up a connector to make a keyboard usable on the net book.  This and that.

The death toll in Haiti adds catastrophe to the already multiple problems of a failed state, a failed state within our sphere of influence.  See the Monroe Doctrine.  I’ve not followed Haiti closely so I don’t know the history, how things have become the way they are, but I do know that we have a moral responsibility as a neighbor.

Acts of God.  Bah, humbug.  These are acts of nature, just like the great Lisbon earthquake in the 18th century.  That one caused a great deal of consternation in various Christian communities.

“The 1755 Lisbon earthquake (see engraving) created a crisis of faith in Europe and beyond. The catastrophe occurred on a holy day and destroyed many of the city’s magnificent sanctuaries. The destruction caused many to renounce religion; others interpreted the event as a sign of God’s displeasure, thus a sign of His omnipotence. Enlightened souls who considered the world innately good took a jolt. Voltaire contemplated the implications. Immanuel Kant devoted several tracts to Lisbon and its consequences.”

To read acts of the natural world as anything but what they are is folly.  In Haiti’s case a strike-slip fault–the San Andreas is such a fault–stored up energy since, oddly, about the same time as the Lisbon event, and yesterday a tectonic shift sprung free.  A great analogy in the newspaper compared a strike-slip fault to a person moving a heavy piano.  They push and push and push, nothing happens.  Then, suddenly, the piano moves.  In this instance however the piano then falls on you.

It is peculiar that we blame God for acts of nature but won’t take responsibility for our own acts against nature, like climate change.