Monday, September 1, 2008

On the Winds of Order-Hurricane Gustav & the Gulf Coast

" Down the Road"©08JHM Photography

You can complain because roses have thorns. Or you can rejoice that thorns have roses.

- Ziggy

In fact bear with me as I speak here as I am still in the middle of processing things.

Since we knew Hurricane Gustav was heading to the U.S. I've been able to reach perhaps 75% of the people I know in the Gulf Coast happily being able to say did indeed evacuated. What a relief though of course I know of some who just rebuilt there homes

I want to implore people who are watching not to make presumptions about the people who stayed behind as it may not what you think. Some have stayed because they have sick family members who could not be moved to the Children's Hospital who had babies, yes babies who have had heart surgery or born prematurely and who evacuating them would be certain death to the man who felt he could not leave because he felt he would be abandoning his wife. They tried to leave during Katrina and the roads were so impacted that they decided to go back home. His wife drowned....Perhaps for grief? Loyalty? Remorse?

Can we not understand that? Most of the ones who have stayed which is roughly about 10,00 are in the higher areas of N.O which did not sustain devastating damage in Katrina.

But in my thinking as I am watching this irony occur and hoping along with everyone else that the partially redone levees hold when lo and behold they showed my childhood area of the Lower Ninth Wards and the levees with the water over topping.

Looking at this impacted to me why it is important that these levees hold. This will tell the tale. Plus in a ironic way the Westbank which was the area that turned on other New Orleaninans with guns and blocked a foot evacuation threatening to shoot to kill as they did not want "those people" there now in a twist of fate now are being tried and tested. The levees on the Westbank did not break in Katrina & thusly no one knows if they will hold or even post Katrina if they have had defects due to aging or defects.

No one would know until a storm came and Gustav is now providing the test. But using the reasoning of Gustav this is an opportunity to do what a African proverb states "It is no shame to go back and correct what was not done" or as the Bible states godly sadness that befits repentance one being righting the wrong.

Perhaps things that were out of order during Katrina will be put into order this go around. Kinda like Gustav stating (if winds could talk) "I sent my little sister Katrina and you did not heed, so now big brother Gustav has to come along for emphasis". Gustav meaning is "royal staff" or "Staff of the Goths".There were apparently a number of European royalty with the name Gustav. Katrina also German translated means "pure".

Of course I am saying this somewhat tongue in cheek but sometimes the test may not be for the person or thing that is experiencing the difficulty but for the observers as to what they are going to do (or not do).

Ironically just a couple of weeks ago some of us were talking about how the Gulf Coast appeared to be forgotten as people went about their lives and things, challenges and other events crowded in. The economy, gasoline, job loss, dispossed homes, bankruptcies etc. Katrina was not any longer a worthy news bite as people decided "those people" should have been better by now to the "oh they are just whining wanting handouts" to "I got my own problems" forgetting that these are real people and that a Katrina like event can happen to each and everyone of us in some way, Even if we manage something life changing once, it could again and again and again and again..

Someone told me and I do not know the author that "one can be irritated to greatness" meaning being pushed and prodded and molded and tried into being a better person then we once were. One thing about going through iron hitting against iron it makes it a stronger more useful material. Some of us will develop a greater capacity for fellow feeling and action.

Will that be you? Will it be me or someone else?

However there are people that will dig there heels in and fight with all their might to the death figuratively or literally to resist what may need to be altered or done. (Or undone) But yet others will rise up and make extraordinary changes (for themselves) That extraordinary change may be just a blip to other people but may be exactly what it needs to be for the one who is making said change.

So now where will you (or I) be when it is our time which is now?

That may be for ones who are doing things like needing to make major changes in their life or even minor one i.e losing 5, 25 or 105 pounds for health or walking away from a dangerous home life, changing careers or like in my position doing this Moon's Great Adventure. At the end of the first phase of this, I do not know where I will indeed lay my head, but I do know that I have no regrets doing this as if I had stayed where I was wringing my hands all I would have now 7 weeks later I would have been still sitting there wringing my hands.

I can tell you that since I took that first step toward putting things in order, my pain level has decreased about 50% and up until a few days ago the heart palpitations had totally ceased. I am feeling more and more like my old self, but in actuality better then even my old self. Though not all of the experiences have been uplifting, of the types that movies are made of, they though have been powerful.

I am still processing them and may for sometime to come. But I will have to say that 95& of the adventure thus far have been powerful and good.

Ironically if it had not been for a totally unexpected & unplanned for glitch about 3 weeks ago I would have been in New Orleans last week & this. That was part of my scheduled plan and would have been on one of those bus, gus getting out of there! This is the second time (for emphasis) that I was delayed or a circumstance change where I was suppose to be, the other time being Katrina, that prevented me from being in harm's way and put me in a position to where I could be of better service.

So initially as I reflect back on 3 weeks ago what seemed to be a major glitch now is a blessing in disguise and I didn't even know it. What was different was I handled the glitch, changing lanes and kept on pressing. One thing about trials one will indeed learned resiliency unless they fight tooth and nail to resist being molded that comes or when things need to be put in order.

So now where we will be?

I know for me I will continue as the Chinese proverb states "Fall down seven... Get up eight".

Even under these sad circumstances and people are anxious, worried not knowing what will await them, there is still a guarded optimism that perhaps what was not there the first time is now in place and in the end it will gonna be alright.

And how cool is that?

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