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While the world watches the drama unfold, thirty-three men are painstakingly pulled to the earth's surface through a narrow, twisting tubular hole drilled through 2,000 feet of rock. A feat in itself, to be sure! A miracle? The ingenuity of man? Which was it?

Deliberately, I've avoided the media hype today. My mind went into a pondering mode about the effects of this entire event. Oh, without a doubt over the next few weeks every facet of these thirty-three lives will be opened to the elements of analysis and construed a multitude of different ways. Every bit of glory and every grain of dirt will be uncovered and inspected by the worlds of journalism and pundits, the sciences and governments, human behaviorists and psychologists and beyond. Investigations into culpability, book deals, movie deals, rights and royalties contracts and entire legal teams vying for the representation will flourish. Certainly, there is a story to be told and an audience waiting to hear, read and watch it. That is as it should be.

As a writer myself, I truly hope these men will be compensated to a degree that they never again have to face going under the surface to dig out the earth's innards; their families will never again have to wonder if they'll return from the bowels of the Planet. Yet, I vehemently hope, as well, that they're not exploited and pillaged by the very people who would lavish these material treasures upon them. That, to me, would be the greatest tragedy of all.

What has occupied my mind today is the ingenuity/miracle aspect of what happened and the ensuing rescue. The day the first drill
bit started turning and the efforts of, at the time, unknown purpose began was, arguably, the most shining example of human ingenuity and teamwork that has been exhibited in the last six decades, surely since the day the first human foot print was emblazoned on the moon. I'm not positive that even that achievement was comparable to what has transpired in Chile. Why? Because there was a plan in place, a goal to reach long before the spacecraft left the launch pad.

What took place in the period of time from the collapse that entombed thirty-three men in 500 square feet of space under, and surrounded by, tons of rock until communication was established seventeen days later? Did they hear the drills spinning? Did the rocks echo the hum of the attempted approach? Or did darkness and silence prevail? Were they convinced that they'd been buried alive? Trapped in the vise of a death that would be agonizingly slow? Even if they did hear the rocks speaking to them, were they hearing the right message or imagining the walls were mocking them like a predator taunting its prey? Being claustrophobic, I'm convinced my mind would have snapped, gone stone mad.

What kept these thirty-three alive? Did they cry out and scream? Were they even relatively calm under such circumstances, if they, indeed, were? Did the biochemistry innate in us all soothe them with a shock that dulled reaction? Reality? Did fear paralyze them? Did hope sustain them? Prayer? Or perhaps, pure denial? What kept them sane? ARE they sane? So many questions!

Yet, the world watched as each of the thirty-three, one by one, slowly, so agonizingly slow, once again felt the sunshine on their face. For me, herein is the miracle! Herein, is the epiphany. Herein, WITHIN, is the Divine. If these men could survive, did survive, only through the ingenuity of man, how could that same ingenuity just as easily fight, kill and destroy? The unanswerable question.  

Or maybe it'll be in the book.  

Susan Haley, Author /Editor

     **Susan Haley is the published author of three books, several articles on networking, an award-winning poet, and an independent copy editor and book reviewer for AME Marketing out of San Diego. She also contributes a column to "The Florida Writer" the official magazine of the Florida Writers Association, for which she is Facilitator for the Sarasota County Chapter. The audio version of her novel "Rainy Day People" was awarded runner-up Finalist in the 2008 Indie Excellence National Book Awards. She also contributes monthly columns to "Fox and Quill," a writer publication based in San Diego, and "The Infinite Writer" based in New Port Richey, Florida. A variety of editorials and excerpts of her work find their way to various E-zines, newsletters and local papers. Recently released "Amber Returns to Maine", is garnering five-star reviews.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Midnightmom wrote Oct 15, 2010
    • I am one of those anxiously awaiting the book to come out. I caught a glimpse of a story about the men being in a truck underground when they stopped because they saw before them a white butterfly. And, because they stopped, that somehow saved their lives. Did the white butterfly save them?

      This, I need to research, but I did want to mention it here in case anyone else may have the whole story about the white butterfly. They were speaking about this on CNN sometime during the time the first 4 or 5 men were being pulled from the mine. Unfortunately I fell asleep even though I wanted to watch the rescues much longer.

      Does anyone know the story of the white butterfly?

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Tamra wrote Oct 18, 2010
    • This event was very inspiring to me.  To think, I had the nerve to complain because of some slight discomfort on days when these men were living in a deep, dark hole not knowing if they’d ever get out.  Such a statement of the human spirit!

      I’d really rather leave the story at that, in all it’s glory.  THE END.  For I fear the outlandish stories to come will diminish the inspiration I’ve gained from those men and their experience.

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