Friday, July 6, 2012

Dancing with Sean Penn in Haiti

Dancing with Sean Penn in Haiti
Now that I am back in the United States, many people ask me if I saw Sean Penn in Haiti. Maybe I am in the grocery store or walking down the street with my grandkids or carrying a load of plants for my garden.
“Hi Sarah. How was Haiti? Did you see Sean Penn?”
And then, I can’t help it, my mind drifts and I am walking down the dirt road outside the birth center. There is me, Michael Jackson. Sean Penn and yes there is always Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog. There are all the people I knew in Haiti. They are well fed, alive,happy and carrying tools of their trade. There are cows and horses and goats and chickens on every shoulder. We spread across the street and the parade goes on for miles . I am right up there in the front with Sean Penn and Michael Jackson and the president of Haiti and Bill Clinton and we are singing “Life’s A Happy Song” from the Muppets. There is a marching band from a high school and the ra ra bands from carnivale. Everyone is singing in unison.
Everything is great.
Everything is grand.
We have the whole wide world in the palm of our hand.
Everything is perfect. It’s falling into place.
La, la.
It is so great. Bu then I remember where I am and that I have to answer, “Actually I never saw Sean Penn. I never saw any singers or movie stars…..
I try to explain that I was in Cap Hatien and that maybe all the movie stars are in Port Au Prince but by then they are walking away. I return to my musical version of helping Haiti.
There is nothing we can’t do
The skies are blue when its me and you and you and you and you…
Life’s a happy song when there is someone by your side to sing along.
I heard Sean Penn told the Canne Film Festival that the whole world forgot Haiti. I sigh but take some comfort that my co-star in Hait; the musical is having trouble explaining the situation and he’s an actor.
Sometimes I try to tell myself that it was a dream, or that it never really happened. It was a movie or made for television drama. Someone made the whole thing up. It could not possibly be real.
I guess that’s why they ask me about Sean Penn. The real questions are just to hard for any of us to ask or answer.

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