Scenes from the aftermath in Oakland:
stories of victims, survivors and healers.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Healers in a plague

The paragraph below comes near the end of Camus' novel The Plague. It refers to those who tried to comfort and save the citizens of Oran during the epidemic. Reading it this morning, I was reminded of all the Oakland violence prevention workers I write about here on the Almanac, but especially those who themselves were once victimized by the violence, like Marilyn Washington Harris and Caheri Gutierrez, Oaklanders who do what has to be done, who refuse to bow down, who strive to be healers, despite their own afflictions. Just replace "terror" with "violence," and "pestilences" with "guns" or "killers" -

...he knew that the tale he had to tell could not be one of a final victory. It could only be the record of what had had to be done, and what assuredly would have to be done again in the never ending fight against terror and its relentless onslaughts, despite their personal afflictions, by all who, while unable to be saints but refusing to bow down to pestilences, strive their utmost to be healers. -From The Plague by Albert Camus

Marilyn Washington Harris
Caheri Gutierrez


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