Tuesday, November 06, 2012

What this storm is all about


Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white
sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.

― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

Quite a bit happened from the last time I wrote here. We had a little event last Tuesday called Hurricane Sandy. Just a little gust of wind and a couple drops of rain. No big deal. YEAH RIGHT. My family and I were some of the VERY fortunate ones and we only lost power for 4-5 days. Besides dealing with lack of heat, hot water and no cell reception we didn’t suffer any loss at all. Lots of people near the Jersey shore, Hoboken, Staten island and other towns in NY dealt with major damages like flooding and harm to their homes, cars and sadly even lives. The entire week was a major shock of reality that at any given moment life as you know it can change so count your blessings.

It was also a big reminder that we live in a great nation. Our mayor took to Twitter almost immediately and began answering questions and addressing problems of down trees in neighborhoods. Comfort stations were set up in locations which did have power for people to charge their electronics, take a hot shower or simply enjoy the heated shelter. It was frustrating not knowing when power would be restored, but it was comforting to know that officials were working hard and continuously to restore life back to normalcy. Our township arranged a Trunk or Treat event over the weekend since the hurricane occurred too close to actual Halloween and roads weren’t safe for children to be out. It was a wonderful idea since the kids really did need a positive change from all the chaos that had been ensuing all week. A week later now, most people we know have had their power restored, lines at gas stations no longer have 4 hour wait times (Governor Christie instated a ration system which helped but also less generators are being used so demand has gone down too), and most importantly, the in pour of help to locations who desperately need it is amazing.

My husband and I plan on joining an organization this weekend who is working with the Red Cross in setting up shelters in disaster struck locations. I feel so guilty for complaining about anything I endured when I see entire towns completely under water, homes swept away and lives lost. The very least we can do is pray for them, and a little better is to roll up our sleeves and help them recover.
 
Today also is an important day for me for two reasons. My Nana (maternal grandfather) passed away 2 years ago today and as an American it is also Election day. Those two events are totally unrelated but combined they created emotions in me that somehow relate. Remembering my Nana reminds me of the kind of person he was and the memories he left us with. Memories we will cherish forever. Thinking about him reminds me that one day I too will be 6 feet under, and makes me wonder how do I want my posterity to remember me? Sandy was just another wake up call that life can be taken at any moment and all that remains is for the ones left behind to pick up the pieces and put them back together. I want to change myself so when people pick up the pieces of what I leave behind they are filled with pride to have been a part of my life. I truly wish to help others, not just with my money and my words but with my time and efforts. I intend to become an active member of my community, for example by voting for officials in my town and state and on a large scale for my nation’s president. My governor and mayor made me proud this week and I will continue to support them. I hope to do things within my community that actually make a difference. I want my grandchildren someday to remember their Nani not just for her love for high heels, chocolate, Cinderella, and a crazy obsession with handbags. I truly hope to change myself to be a generous person. A person whose essence is kind and giving. Often times we only help others when it is convenient for us or when it serves our ego, but it’s another thing to just make that generosity a part of your nature. It becomes what you are doing all the time without even realizing it. I want giving/kindness to become natural to me, not something I take time out to do. We have a few brief moments in this place, let’s spend them doing something wonderful.

Look here to see what I wrote about the last election and what it signified to me.
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