Sri Lanka: Tsunami Two years on

Out of the womb of sightless night – bring out the word of healing strong 


Colombo, 26 December, 2007

Two years after Sri Lanka faced death and destruction of unimaginable proportions there is much soul searching. Many are the questions being asked — where did the aid  money go, how many houses were built, how many are more to be build, what went wrong and what did we do right, did we forget the people concentrating on statistics?– the search for answers continue….  One thing for sure we couldn’t do was to unite the people of this land. We did unite very briefly in the immediate aftermath but that was just a very very brief moment. 

This morning before I started on the track back to Hikkaduwa, I needed to read again a poem sent to me by my father many moons ago. In it he wrote about a Buddhist monk he knew who lived in a hermitage close to Hikkaduwa – Polgasduwa.  The monk, he wrote was weighed by asthma as I was then, but worked hard at his studies to forget his asthma.  Years ago my birthday gift to my father was an English translation of “Visuddhimaga” – the original. [a Buddhist Pali Canon], which is now lost forever. In the preface were these poems this monk had written one night at 2 a.m. because he believed my father said of “wearing out than rusting out.” 

Out of the womb of sightless night – bring out the word of healing strong

And put to flight the evil thoughts – that stood betwixt the eye and light

Where lies, friend, the golden mean? In giving up

Where’s the heart forever clean? In giving up

Where is life at its best seen? In giving up Where reaches one peace serene? In giving up 

More on the trek back South on Tsunami’s second anniversary follows…

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2 thoughts on “Sri Lanka: Tsunami Two years on”

  1. I find this such a sensitive narrative on the memories of the tragic experiences of the writer and so many others and much appreciate the Visuddhimaga translation. I only hope with all my heart that the country can be united in the new year.

  2. The green grass is growing back and the nostalgia of your writing is heart wrenching.

    They say these are abuddassa times.

    There is no compensation for such loss as yours but there is still hope for the living, the survivors.

    We in the south must not forget the north and east – now more than ever.

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