He was staring out at the impounded waters of the Artibonite. They stretched off to the east and west and out of sight among the mountains. From here the amount of land the dam had drowned seemed vast. Still gazing, Farmer said, “To understand Russia, to understand Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Boston, identity politics, Sri Lanka, and Life Savers, you have to be on top of this hill.”
The list was clearly jocular. So was his tone of voice. But I had the feeling he had said something important. I thought I got it, generally. This view of drowned farmland, the result of a dam that had made his patients some of the poorest of the poor, was a lens on the world. His lens. Look through it and you’d begin to see all the world’s impoverished in their billions and the many linked causes of their misery.
- Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
Thinking about borders and bodies of water and human bodies today. Let’s be Javelina Men for one another, ok?