Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, has been delivering regular updates and media briefings concerning the Coronavirus. In them, facts and figures are interspersed with hope, detemination and clear-sighted, calm, pragmatic advice. On Monday, at the end of a lengthy briefing, he ended with these words...
Society of the Sacred Heart, US Province
The good Lord somehow has a great sense of humor when it comes to walking with me in my life. He has a way of following you, haunting you, making you move even when you are unsure of your path, not knowing where you are to go or how you will ever get there. It seems that is how I have experienced this; others have too.
As I traveled to McAllen, Texas, from Chicago, Illinois, ready to learn, to listen, to be with those who are living their daily lives in a state of chaos, there at the border, the frontera, I knew I had to be silent to take it all in.
There is a Welsh word, hiraeth, which has no English equivalent. I'm told it is a deep, nostalgic homesickness; a grief felt at irreparable loss; a longing to return to an unreachable, elusive somewhere, or something. It corresponds to saudade, an almost untranslatable Portuguese expression, best described as the presence of absence; a longing for someone or something you remember fondly but know you can never experience again.