What a harsh irony to be writing about devastation and mourning in Mexico when just a few days ago I wrote an opinion for The Priori about the disastrous consequences of an earthquake in the poor states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco.
‘Lessons were drawn and the city [of Mexico] resisted the 8.2 earthquake’, I wrote then. Right now, I just sound ridiculously naïve.
But, how could I have possibly imagined that a 7.1 magnitude earthquake would hit my homeland only two weeks after the tragedy in southern Mexico and just a couple of hours after we had our annual drill in memoriam of the thousands of victims of 19 September 1985 earthquake in Mexico City? Terrible irony, I insist.
No drill, no alarm, no reason, no building prevented us from feeling, yes! FEELING, that vulnerability toward the force of nature.
Today, I’m not planning to bore you with data, political slang or public policies, but rather to share the following lines I wrote from my heart in the aftermath of 19-S. More than a chronic, and despite my clumsiness, this is an aftershock therapy:
…I write the following lines thinking of you, who like myself probably lived one the worst experiences in your life.
Those eternal seconds pass through our minds, holding our hands, together, staring at each other, uncertain, frightened…hopeless.
Quite fortunate to call ourselves survivors! Some would say…true, in the eyes of those who have lost a son, a daughter, a parent, a friend or colleague.
Many of us stand in our feet, indeed, but we are deeply devastated.
Remember that bewilderment in the immediate aftermath, the crowds in the streets, the desperation of those who were trying to contact their loved ones, the collapse of public transportation and energy supply, those long walks and sympathetic hugs?….how could we have possible imagined the indescribable scenes that we witnessed afterwards?
Emotionally difficult scenes. Terrible, painful…but, at the same time, full of love and compassion.
To those who went to the disaster zones and have supported in rescue missions; to the hospitable neighbours and volunteers who have accompanied rescuers, emergency services and victims in their efforts and pain; to those who have donated in kind, cash* or in spirit to the cause; to the people that have disseminated useful information through social media in real time; to those who have organised brigades and crowdfunding campaigns; to the solidarity of the people of Mexico…I just want to say: THANK YOU, I STAND BY YOU, I EMBRACE YOU, I LOVE YOU.
I rise my fist for my homeland, for Mexico City, for Mexico. In silence, I mourn for those who left. In silence, I smile for the fortune of the survivors and for the future of our beautiful nation.
Difficult times lie ahead. After the emergency, reconstruction will come. The solidarity we’ve shown in the past few days must endure. People will need of our support and compassion.
The most important lesson I believe we’ve all learned is that indifference must never be part of our DNA. Never judge the person that stands by you, as she/he could be having the worst…or best…day of her/his entire life.
A life of solidarity for the residents of Mexico City! We will endure, together.
Mexico City, I love you.
Picture: “Día 1 #FuerzaMéxico” by Dennis Lazarus. Rescuers at disaster zone, holding their fists up, which stands for SILENCE.
*Donations to Mexican Red Cross.
a. PayPal link in its official Facebook page: https://www.paypal.me/cruzrojamexicana
b. Donations through Amazon: https://goo.gl/15TXcR