Yesterday it was thirteen months since the earthquake. I didn't write about it, on purpose. It was the first time since that day in January 2010 that the 12th came around without me obsessing about it for a few days before and thinking about it instantly the moment I woke up on the day itself. I thought about it early in the morning, but it wasn't my first thought. Is this progress?
Thirteen months. Everyone I talk to says both that it seems more recent than that, and that it seems a very long time ago. I can hardly imagine a time before the earthquake. What kind of a person was I back then? How did I see the world?
Every time we drive to church we pass many signs for a school called the Life Goes On Institute. I don't know how good the school is, but I know that its name speaks truth: Life Goes On. It doesn't stop just because everything falls apart. Life has gone on for the past thirteen months. We took a strange road today and my husband said he just wanted to try it; the last time he had been down that road it was impassable because it was full of rubble and tents. Now there was some rubble, but no tents; those people have moved on. Other places in the city are still crammed with tents. For those people, too, still living thirteen months later in a way that might be fun for a weekend but not at all for month after month, life goes on.
This time last year, Haiti was observing three days of prayer and fasting, replacing Carnival. This year, preparations are on track for Carnival. The theme this year is An'n Selebre Lavi: Let's Celebrate Life. (Carnival is much later this year than it was last, not until the beginning of March.) Let's Celebrate Life. I do, every day, because it does go on for us, though not for so many others.
6 hours ago