Et tu, Ida?

Posted on FaceBook earlier:

How can it be blazing sunshine and hot outside my windows when there’s a hurricane raging on the Gulf Coast, forest fires on the West Coast, and people being blown up in Afghanistan? This seems impossible until I realize how small we are and how little of the whole picture we actually see. Our vision is, indeed, myopic.

My heart is with my home state today. It’s not the first major hurricane to hit Louisiana on August 29th, and it won’t be the last. It’s slightly odd that the end of August seems to be some kind of esoteric magnet for cyclonic activity on the Gulf Coast, but Mother Nature does indeed move in mysterious ways. Is there a message there? I don’t know, but if there is, I think we aren’t getting it.

Buckle up, my friends. Whether you’re dodging the winds and the tidal surge down South, or just trying to make sense out of what’s going on around you in your corner of the Universe, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Hurricanes start in areas of low atmospheric pressure, then winds rotate around that aberration and form tropical waves, then tropical depressions, then storms, and finally hurricanes. This has been going on since the beginning of time, although most believe global warming makes the cycle more intense. I dunno, because when you’re in the middle of it, the how and why really doesn’t matter much, just survival.

After a big storm, when chaos is the name of the game and there’s no power and you can’t figure out which way is up (even when there’s blue sky where your roof used to be) you’re not thinking about much else but how to get back to where you were before it all happened. That’s natural. On some level, everybody is trying to do that after COVID lockdown. WE want to get back to “normal”, to the way things used to be.

I’m not sure things will ever be the way they were before COVID, before the latest natural disaster that upended life as we knew it…before. It hurts. It hurts even more when you realize the disaster wasn’t entirely natural – it had a lot of help from short-sighted and possibly malicious human actors. The feeling of betrayal is a constant when you understand there was nothing natural about it.

There is nothing natural in Afghanistan right now, or for the last several decades. There is nothing natural in parts of the United States, even when standing among the purple mountains’ majesty and the proverbial fruited plain. There is nothing natural about hate, and greed, and hubris. Hubris makes low pressure, makes us flat and incapable of carrying our own weight, like a tire that’s been leaking for some time and finally goes out of round. It is of little use if the inner pressure cannot be maintained.

So, hold tight, folks. We are going to lose some things. That doesn’t have to mean everything is lost, but it will be different. It must be different, or there will be more loss. We can’t keep rebuilding in the same fashion as…before. We have to build new, we have to have to build bigger and wider and stronger. The internal pressure of the tire can’t be maintained if most of the air is outside the container. We can’t pick and choose which molecules are welcomed inside the circle.

Mother Nature keeps tearing down what we’ve built. Maybe that’s because we’re trying to separate ourselves from the Earth and from each other.

As I said, my heart is in Louisiana right now, but that’s really not all that different from any other day. It will always have my heart, no matter how many ties hold me here. I would like to believe my heart is big enough for all of it, and has enough love to go around.
Houses and cars and … stuff are just things, even though it hurts to lose them. The people…the music…the hearts…the spirit of the land … that’s where we can be found. That’s what is irreplaceable. It might be hard for a while after this, but allons, cher – we can’t stay down too long before the music starts playin’ and the beat starts thumpin’ and before you know it, everybody dancin’ and second linin’ – ’cause dey can’t wash us away.

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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