Haiti - This Shipwreck of Fragments

Break a vase, and the love that reassembles the fragments is stronger than the love which took its symmetry for granted when it was whole... This gathering of broken pieces is the care and pain of the Antilles, and if the pieces are disparate, ill-fitting, they contain more pain than their original sculpture, those icons and sacred vessels taken for granted in their ancestral places. Antillean art is this restoration of our shattered histories, our shards of vocabulary, our archipelago becoming a synonym for pieces broken off from the original continent... This is the basis for the Antillean experience, this shipwreck of fragments, these echoes, these shards of a huge tribal vocabulary, these partially remembered customs, and they are not decayed but strong. They survived the Middle Passage. - Derek Walcott
I have long been fascinated with the culture of Haiti, a culture of survivors born in the brutality of the Caribbean slave trade, rooted in the noble spiritual and cultural traditions of West Africa, a culture rocked, from it's beginnings by political and meteorological violence, exhausted by poverty, exploited in every way imaginable, and deeply misunderstood. Arising from this violent history is a culture of incredible artistic and spiritual vitality, sophistication, and originality, and a people of incredible strength. Like so many of us, I have watched in horror and helplessness the stream of devastating images moving across my screens; the dust, rubble, and flesh, hands reaching out from beneath the piles, children bloodied and alone. It's unbearable.

I sent some money in to Medicins sans Frontieres, that was easy enough; I admire their work, they are already on the ground in Haiti, and the Canadian Government is offering matching funds so my contribution was automatically doubled. Still not much, but something. Late last night I read about the Help Haiti Blog Challenge, brainchild of blogger Kelly Diels. It's a good idea, and another way to make a small contribution, so I'm on board. The idea is for participants to offer a product or service and donate the proceeds to an organization of their choice that's helping in Haiti. So here's my pledge: I make these lovely little buddha dishes, which I sell in my Etsy shop. I will donate 100% of the profits from any buddha dishes sold in the next 28 days to Medicins sans Frontieres for their efforts in Haiti. These donations will also be eligible for the Canadian Gov't matching funds, which is great. If you're a blogger, you can help too; please go over and read about the challenge. Oh, and please buy a buddha dish! Get something nice by doing something good.

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