There are few things more certain in life these days than the regularity of natural disasters. They come more regular than allotted vacation times now that workers must scramble to hide any time away from work least their psychopathic employers suspect they harbor a longing for those two week vacations, sick days, and personal time of those olden times. Nature is providing a feast of destruction where we may tend to our time away from work, catch up on TeeVee programs, and rest in troubled repose with one eye on the potentially rising waters. These spats of anger from Nature have come in so many forms these past years, tornado clusters, Thundersnow, Snowmagadon, Earth Quakeacane, Frankensuperstorm, and a regular wave of 25, 100, and 500 year storms that wash through one region or another of our land. In such a short time this blogger has lived through a tornado wandering down a city street tearing up trees and tossing aside all else in its way, a flood of the city, a flood of a mountain town, ice storms where tree branches crack and rain down in the forest until it seems that morning will find a landscape devoid of all flora, two summers filled with rain and storms so thick one upon another that the dark landscapes of Breughel and Hieronymus Bosch melting together minus the burn umbers, smalt, and vermilions and clouds thick, dark, and coming from all directions.
This is not my first emergency, nor will it be my last. There was a certain blackout, an attack on said Towers, another blackout, one or more Snomagedons, a few tornadoes, some strange storms that caused only local damage and misery, and of course the close call of Irene and the direct trifecta impact of Sandy, uniting the forces of satellite gravitational pull, arctic jet stream pushes, and tropical oceans that send up one upon another low pressure system seeded by global warming or perhaps a conspiracy out there in the Antilles or Majorca or wherever.
The embarrassments and inconvenience suffered by this author were but minor, considering that despite being on the doomer prep spectrum refuses to believe the hype and went in to this dark night with perhaps a can of peaches and some few bags of coffee as supplies. Compared to those others who suffered loss of property or life, the lack of wifi was concerning only as it stifled any chance to pretend to work, considering that the author’s employer did not have a paycheque code for End Of The World and some Keep Calm and Carry On had to be maintained, if not followed through. “Ah,” said one of the more upper managers, “tomorrow is the hurricane, so I guess we can schedule our phone meetings for tomorrow considering we cannot get into the office….” The statement was not an ironic one, but a fare indication, if not a proofs as real as those Nobel ones touted by a certain Dr. Bronner on his Magic Soap that our current mentality of The Knowing Ones is as out of touch as were those captains of Empire who ordered their soldiers not to hide in the brush, but to face the Continental Army like men, out in the open. It is to the liar that scorn is heaped, for he knows the truth but extinguishes it for those around him, but to that one who extinguishes truth in one’s self, that anger is turned to pity. The defense of the lie made flesh is harder case to argue against, since facts external are hard and rational and can be accepted, but the internal life has so many more barriers to entry and defenses to evidence, facts whether found in books or in nature, such as a wall of water rushing towards one’s home.
That day, the one with the clear sky we all speak about, the one where the Towers burned, many of us walked to the subway on our way to work wondering if this event would incapacitate the commute or that perhaps by next week life would have returned to normal so we could return to our scheduled phone meetings to discuss our ephemeras and chimeras of business and sundry other topics we use to convince ourselves that we are indeed Master of Our Fate. It took a full day for many for the realization that another world exists and that the new normal had been born.
It is said by so many others, and better writers too, that Nature plays her hand last. That She has rights to property that go beyond the Magna Carta and reach back to magma and carbon and beyond, to infinity itself. We ants will rebuild, no different than those we watched toil in jars when we were children. We will return to our offices or Kentacohuts or unemployment lines and continue our dream of the Human Potential Movement. To continue to believe that if only we had innovation, we could beat these winds, these walls of water as Xerxes had punished the seas and Moses (Robert and son of Amram) parted them and restore Nature to our Order.
Many still search for power, to plug in their cell phone or tablet, for gas to run their electrical appliances or drive for those gallons of milk so important in storms, and toxic waters are pumped out of basements, tunnels, and transformer pits, and only in pockets are we shown the extent of things to come. Of the shortages, and what they mean. Of the collapse of ever-complex systems of infrastructure. Of the tenuous connection so many of us have to the 21st century, held deep within this bosom of wondrous achievement and comfort only as long as our battery life lasts, before our screen fades to black, and we look up to a sky that no longer shelters, and are forced to consider the idea of north.