Let Them Be Safe
Part of a series on Ebola arriving in Sierra Leone & Liberia
"The world is a place that is so interconnected that what happens in another part of the world will impact us."
— Anthony Fauci, MD, physician-scientist
It’s true, I pray. I believe in intentions, how they echo out into the universe, how despite the vastness, the vacuous light-years of nothing, or the hidden mass of dark energy, they reach, intersect, touch something. I also believe in entanglement.
Fataba, my Sierra Leone friend, finding my two-week-old email, responds, “Sorry” for the delay. I’m stunned by her need to apologize. She tells me of food shortages, price escalations, and being confined to her home, the entire city of Freetown locked down. Reading her words, I hear her Krio-tinged voice. I think, At least up country, people still have their farms, but you, you might starve in that city before Ebola and the rest of the world reach you.
“Please continue to pray for us this is so scary,” she writes. And so I do.
Physics is clear about entanglement: When two particles have interacted, they are forever entangled, no matter the distance that spreads out between them. What affects one, affects the other. People are particles and space, too. I laughed with Fataba. I hugged her. Look, here she is in a photo, smiling. Moments later we were soaked in rain, feet caked in red mud. I tried to teach her how to look through binoculars, to find the Crimson seedcracker, a startling red and black bird, finch-like, that flashed in foliage along a swollen, brown creek.
In Kundalini yoga, in sessions I join on certain evenings, the leader, Joan, finishes with the pounding of a gong. Lying on the floor, in what is called in English “corpse pose,” you feel the sound, the waves pressing into the soles of your feet, flooding around your body, swelling over you like water. You float in it, and it floats in you. You spread out like spilt fire, uncontained. No thought, the body is a wordless prayer.
This morning it translates as, Let them be safe.