Morning thunderstorm. How calming, usually, when one is under a roof and no duties are pressing...

I was finishing my devotions; the light had not fully risen. I sat at my writing table looking through the lattice of branches that frame my view of the intersecting lanes just outside. A cold gust blew in, and there appeared on the wall of my casement the fiery gleam of the rising sun, cross-hatched by the elongated shadow of pine needles, like letters of some unknown script, solemnly dancing in the dawn wind.

Lightning flashed; there followed a blast of thunder I felt all the way down my spine; my candles went out, and the glimmer of sunlight died with them.

Then rain began to fall, and I heard the jingle of carts rolling into the courtyard below.


As I write this, the sky has ripped open, and rain torrents down on us as if this house stood beneath a great waterfall. The courtyard is still choked with the wounded, the dying, and the dead, and we cannot get them inside — there is no room in the vestibule, and all the corridors are jammed up with people lying every which way, so that the gurneys and carts cannot move. Not long ago, the roof collapsed into the upper assembly hall, crushing those who had been brought there for shelter, along with their nurses and attendants.

I am no help at all — my affliction forbids any strenuous exertion — and my attempts to give direction are everywhere met with frank looks of contempt from the resident brothers, who, having lived here since before I was born, quite naturally believe they best know how to run things. To them I am a child, a crippled one at that, and worst of all a criminal foisted upon them by cynical authorities as a political expedient. I can do nothing but sit here, staring out at the carnage and chaos, pounding my useless thigh in pointless rage.

No. I will sit no longer. I will stand, and endure. And prevail.