|Sandy from the top of The New York Times building|
October 29, 2012
New York City
It is too soon to say what all this means. I had no intention of blogging about Sandy or giving an opinion based on my experiences and perceptions. But I have just come out of a 90-minute meditation/visualization, and I have a much different perspective than I've had all day. I am still a little emotional from all the hype and fear mongering on the internet and radio. I don't own or watch television, so I cannot speak to that, but I have a pretty good idea about the prevailing sentiment.
I am hesitant to talk about the Hurricane because it is not over yet - it would be like trying to write a theatre review after having only seen the first act, it would be unfair to the players and writer. We are in the midst of what is being called the biggest storm in New England in the past 100 years, and I do not want to appear so trite as to think I could surmise the metaphysical significance of this enormous act of Mother Nature. New York City is in the middle of getting Her ass kicked and there is little or nothing anyone or anything can do about it.
Aside from a little cooking and my meditation, I have spent most of the day at the computer, but was really looking out the window, and waiting. When weather/nature, makes a display of this magnitude, it automatically focuses our attention in a very different way.
November 1, 2012
I never had a chance to finish the above essay because after that meditation of which I spoke, I was overcome with fatigue and slept, with the intention of getting back to finishing my article later. At about 8:45 p.m. that evening a huge bang was heard (the local Con Ed transformer exploding) and the lights went out, jolting me out of a sound nap. I stayed in my apartment for a few days without much information or outside access. I ventured into midtown to charge my phone, bounce around the city and have an afternoon of pretending nothing was wrong.
I have just relocated to the temple residence of my mentor and his family in Queens. The electricity is out where I live and,combined with other factors, it simply became inordinately bleak.
I am now able to access the internet, but I have not read one line of news or seen a photo of anything since Monday night. I have just lived through this ordeal and have no inclination to take on more information for the moment. The suffering of the elderly and infirmed is something foremost on my mind right now, and my heart and prayers go out to them, and for a speedy restoration of the basic necessities of life.
for one another. I have been the recipient of such kindness and consideration which has made living through this a more tolerable experience. Bus passengers are more readily inclined to give their seat to someone in need and everyone will let you charge your cell phone at the nearest wall outlet or power strip. Today local churches, having set up generators to pump water from flooded basements, provided a place for neighborhood residents to charge phones and laptops. Subways and buses are providing free rides and a group of high schoolers had volunteered to help at a Brooklyn evacuation center. On the bus ride to the subway station, a few blocks from where I live, a large truck was handing out free supplies and food to whoever was nearby.
Deciding to leave the neighborhood was an emotionally wrought process. It was really, really difficult to turn away from my friends and neighbors who are still in the building making the best of the situation. But it was becoming more difficult for me to remain there, so I took advantage of the offer to stay with those who are near and dear to me. Each one has a different threshold.
The electricity is tentatively scheduled to be back on by this weekend, along with what should be restored power to the subway system below 34th Street. A few nights in the dark or cooking by candlelight, or taking a cold shower in not really the issue and in fact are minor inconveniences when seeing the big picture. I couldn't even begin to speculate on the implications of this event, nor do I wish to rehash someone else's theory. For now we have to heal, get our strength back and pay attention to that which is in our own backyard.