Friday, September 02, 2005

It's Too Early

It's too early.

To be honest that thought crosses my mind virtually everyday...when my alarm clock rings at 12:45 a.m., but I'm not talking about time in that sense today.

I've spent hours and days listening to stories, writing stories, watching stories of the aftermath of Katrina...and it's only the beginning.

It's too early.

It's too early to find fertile foothold for political fodder and finger-pointing.

It's too early.

I answer the phone a lot at my office...and the calls have been building with each passing day - anonymous hushed voices telling me of conspiracies, and tales of bureaucratic bungling. Of FEMA "Concentration camps" and racist plots.

One man called me today to rail - in a whispered voice - that the Red Cross was incompetent! He was outraged that he called to volunteer and the Red Cross told him they could use him - all he needed to do was come to a training course. A course they were offering in 20 minutes! He demanded to know why training was necessary, why it couldn't be waived in these chaotic circumstances, why things couldn't "be expedited!" He had the time to call me...but he wasn't going to volunteer now because the Red Cross had guidelines it was following!

I wanted to simply play his voice back to him.

It's too early. came too late.
Yes...we're going to hear horror story after horror story after horror story after horror story for days and days and weeks and week on end...because those stories are easy to find.

Of course help came too late, the only help that would have been "on time" would have arrived in advance and prevented this nightmare.

Perhaps that was possible; I don't know...right now I don't care.

I do know it's too early to let the disgruntled get in the way of the guided.
I do know it's too early to let the impatient out pace the persistent.
I do know it's too early to do anything at all that isn't absolutely constructive.

There will be days, months and years to pick this tragedy to pieces...but there are people dying...people trapped...people sitting in a warehouse on a former Air Force Base tarmac 20 miles from my home with no idea where their families are, where their futures are...

It's too early.

Give....give your money...give your blood...give your time...give your house...your church...your prayers.

But don't give up.

It's too damn early.

The Red Cross
To offer shelter or to give in other ways: Craigslist