Have you been seeing photos of the aftermath of Sandy? With many friends and family on the East coast, they are all over my Facebook feed, and many are heartbreaking. All the photos of large, displaced items (boats, shipping containers, a shark!) get me the most: they demonstrate the power of the water, the randomness of the event. I keep thinking of the movie Ponyo. Isn't it funny how our brains work?
I've been thinking about disbelief. Like when the tornado came to Minneapolis and I did not heed the sirens. People who got stuck because they would not go. And I have been thinking about loss, how we may be surprised by what we mourn afterwards. Not too long ago, I stumbled upon this list from a woman who lost everything in a house fire. What she most misses. (Hint: it has nothing to do with money, everything to do with soul.) When I think about what I would take, that old tale of the first things you would grab in a fire or flood, I'm sure they would not be the most meaningful. They would just be the closest at hand. What do I think I would want? Is that even a useful exercise?
We forget, too, that after a natural disaster, there is work to be done. We hear the phrase "The hard work of rebuilding," but if we are not rebuilding ourselves, personally, we forget.
Today, from the lucky comfort of my home office, planning for trick or treating, playing with fabrics for a client in New Jersey who has no power (but is otherwise okay), I will be thinking of all the people trying to get the boats back in the water.