Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Stars at Night

If you’re gonna do it,
Do it right
Don’t leave it overnight
If you’re gonna help me
Help me now
Another ten minutes will be too late
Like a crying child
I need comfort now
Don’t pick me up
When the tears are dry
on my face

Need someone to help me
But not you, you’re not ready
Seems you have trouble
Helping yourself

It takes time to notice
But you don’t seem to know
Time keeps moving
What you’re doing
Is wasting my time

….
It would help me more
If you helped yourself.

From Joan Armatrading’s "Help Yourself" on the 1976 eponymous album.



I have been hearing all of the songs that have ever comforted me in a different way since the Katrina disaster. The song "Help Yourself" from Joan Armatrading’s eponymous album was probably written as a love song, but it sure fits the situation in New Orleans quite well right now. Seems we have trouble…helping ourselves.

I am heartened by the outpouring of generosity and love from around the world, from countries that we have often seen as adversaries giving of themselves. Countries that have their own problems and which are much less affluent are offering us millions of dollars in aid. I think there is a message here for the US. Compassion is a more potent force than any weapon and we would do well to rain it down on the world once we recover from our own debacle.

One last quote from Armatrading’s song "Tall in Saddle" on the same album:

"Say what you will….
You can’t take the stars at night."

Let the spin doctors spin. The world has seen and it has taken note. Thank you to all who are giving of themselves.

If you haven’t helped out yet, here is an opportunity for you. Please consider donating your time, money or spare bedrooms to the victims of Katrina.

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