I wanted to write something for the blogs from the devastation in the southern Philippines this week ... But I can't seem to find the words... 
 
Looking through old journals though, I found an entry written in China while on assignment there right after the earthquake in 2008.  

I find it's exactly what I'd like to share now - something I first learned in Gaza ... and Baghdad ... and it was reiterated years later in China, and more recently in Japan.
 
It echoes again here in the flood-ravaged areas of northern Mindanao.
 
23, May 2008
Chengdu, China 

The sound of pain is universal.  
 
You do not need to understand the language of the words when the wailing the tone the texture of the anguish is the same. Deafening in its darkness. Too raw in its nakedness that you want to turn away so as not to see it - but you can’t.

You can’t shut your eyes to the sound. There is no running away from the pain - when it surrounds you. Like a warm welcoming embrace - it holds you to its bosom and suffocates you. 

The sound of pain is universal.