(I might be gone sometime: a haiku to a son)
Hard to end goodbye
no rendezvous on earth yet
left sure not end word
~~~~~How to tell a young sunny cheerful vibrant boy what death is and why must all old people still die? How to make a bud newly sprang from thawing crust of frozen clay on the first day of spring, grow into a mighty tree overnight, with strength of deep roots and resilience that can only come from solid foundation consistently built and persistently held firm over tested time, to instantly withstand the imminent freezing cold and brutal wind and torrential storm flood sweeping down from the north? He starts writing a letter.
Dear beloved son: I might be gone sometime but not in words -only briefly in humanity life-span touching the end of line and migrating into another span in time and space and form and existence called eternity which has no end or beginning and where your mother and you will go too after ending each earth-span in time and space where the real happy and tearless rendezvous will take place and where we shall no longer say goodbye and you will never be alone or lonely as an only child because you will have countless brothers and sisters like stars in the sky.
“You ain’t very old!” You said rightly. True. But by the time you have grown up and read this letter I would have been very old like the patriarchs in the Bible. This letter is not about old age. It is about love in battle. I have read an article about seismology – the branch of science concerned with earthquakes and related phenomena. The Really Big One. I have copied and made some notes. Read and understand why I say I am talking about love in battle.
“4-6 minutes after the dogs start barking, the shaking will subside. For another few minutes, the region, upended, will continue to fall apart on its own. Then the wave will arrive, and the real destruction will begin…depending on location, they will have 10-30 minutes to get out (to higher and safer ground)…when the tsunami is coming, you run. You protect yourself. You don’t turn around, you don’t go back to save anybody. You run for your life…We can’t save them (the elderly, disabled and tourists).”
Preparation requires capacity and capability which must be consistently practiced over time at one specific terrain. The elderly, disabled and the tourists do not have these resources. Indeed even in ordinary everyday allotment of perceived limited resources for example health care the disadvantaged will ultimately lose out in the utilitarian based priority selection process. Like any disaster the time to save people from a tsunami (or any catastrophe) is before it happens. The devastation and the vast losses resulted are often due to inadequate preparation. How often do catastrophes of devastating tsunami or tropical typhoon magnitude occur? Frequency does not matter. Because an individual either encounters it or does not encounter it. Risk is either 0% or 100%. People like to believe that they are less likely to be caught in unfortunate events than others. It is called ‘optimism bias’, crime victims, smokers, gamblers, speculators or traders who think they are less exposed to losses. “What has this got to do with love?” You may ask.
Love does not align with a natural selection of the fittest process. Much as people believe otherwise, the love that overcomes all odds is not based on external physical selection but an internal invisible choice. Do you love or do you not love? Many think that love is fulfilled by not harming or causing harm to others. But even our inaction to save could amount to harm. Your mother would have no hesitation to whom she would even give her life. So I do too. Long ago we have made our vow and eternal covenant. I pray you remember yours on that day.