Following the idea that names reveal little or nothing about the soul of the things,  the name of the hurricane Paloma [dove] fits well.   Its dreaded flight—Category 4—has more of the carrion-eater in pursuit of prey than of white wings flapping.  Cyclones are given tender epithets that are later added to the vocabulary of destruction.  They go and we are left with names like Ivan, Charlie, Denis or Gustav with which we associate things that seem equally destructive.  This is why our politicians and their economic plans have been given the names* of tropical storms or the Category 5 hurricanes that took so many houses.

But today the sarcasm of the name is more cruel.  Paloma will flutter down over a wounded Island, sinking its beak into places that still show the wounds left by hurricanes in August and September.  It has the bare neck of the vultures, as common as they are absurd, and the blackness of its feathers does not bode well.

As for nature, it is better not to try to understand her.  She has both chaos and logic.  At the moment she has touched us with her confusion and madness.  Paloma will pass, leaving the Island in the same place, the destruction a little deeper and the dreams much farther off.

Translator’s note:

*What this phrase is saying is that Cubans often use nicknames to refer to their leaders and their plans, as we all do.  In Cuba they may use the names of hurricanes as these nicknames.


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