The timing couldn’t be more perfect for this hurricane to come and wake people up: not only is it nearly all Hallow’s Eve and All Soul’s Day and Dia de los Muertes, the time when the veil between our world and the spiritual world is thinnest, but it is only a week away from the presidential election. Divine timing, I’d be willing to bet….
I admit, it is fascinating to behold (at a nice, safe distance, of course.)– all that water covering the streets of Manhattan, especially, and the pictures of a dark New York skyline– there is a kind of peacefulness about it, even in the midst of its devastation. Hurricane Sandy has effectively brought one of the busiest places on Earth to a near standstill, like a great collective meditation hall suddenly materialized through water and power outages. I know this is a perhaps naïve and not entirely realistic way to view it, yet that is what came to me as I looked at the pictures from the New York Times. Over 8 million people are without power at the moment, which in itself means that for a brief moment in time, quite a chunk of humanity has to unplug and be with each other in real time– that has to be something positive right there.
Since I am several hours ahead of the east coast here in Denmark, I felt the energy of what was happening during the early morning hours. Along with, I am sure, millions of others all around the world, I have been sending prayers for light and help to our friends on the east coast throughout this day. Surprisingly, instead of feeling sad and horrified, as I did when watching the news about Japan’s tsunami last year, I feel thankful that so many are able to clear out old, stuck energy by the mechanism of this storm. Even though they might have lost their homes or at least some of the things they own due to the flooding, I have come to understand the value in letting go of old material stuff that no longer serves. Having lived through two years of severe flooding in Wisconsin and watching what the people went through in the aftermath, I understand more now of how cleansing natural disasters can be in the course of time. Of course, that is cold comfort in the moment when one comes back to a huge mess to have to clean up. But we know that if we don’t take the initiative for cleaning up our lives ourselves, sooner or later life will do it for us.
It is interesting to see the responses that readers of the NYTimes newsfeed wrote concerning the situation. I have included the more pithy ones below, dear Readers, for your edification. How interesting that this occurs, as I said, just days before the election. It seems that Romney’s ideas about dismantling the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) are timely right about now. And how fascinating that Wall Street has been shut down briefly. For a couple of days, those bloody bastards have not been able to do business-as-usual, and any way you look at it, that has to be a good thing!
My prayers for light and compassion and healing will remain with all of those who most need it during the days and weeks ahead. Another example of how connected we actually are.
from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/31/us/hurricane-sandy-barrels-region-leaving-battered-path.html?pagewanted=all in the comments section:
S. McEwan of England writes, “this is a wake-up call on the destructive effects of man-made climate change. This summer you had one of the worst droughts in the US in living memory … and now this. It is staggering that in the three presidential debates there was apparently no mention at all of climate change, the greatest threat facing humanity, which is already affecting hundreds of millions worldwide. Talk about ‘the elephant in the room’ that no-one mentions! Our thoughts are with you as you face this disaster. But time is running out for radical inter-Governmental action.”
RMC of NYC: “This storm, the drought and other weather events in the US and elsewhere are the harbingers of global climate change. The scientific evidence has been clear for a decade and, given the weather events of the past few years, we shouldn’t need a scientist to know which way the wind blows.
The Republicans’ policy — policy, mind you – is to pretend that such changes aren’t happening. Moreover, they are gutting the government services, including FEMA, that address the human and infrastructure consequences of natural disasters.
The Republicans’ policies are not merely short-sighted, they are foolish and deadly.
As trees fell around us last night, and my neighbor e-mailed that she was watching the western shore of the Hudson explode into flaming electrical transformers (while her own neighborhood on the eastern shore flooded), I remarked to my husband that the only good outcome of Sandy was that, back in Manhattan and out in Fairfield County, the wealthy idiots who should know better, but were backing Republican candidates for political and economic gain, might be realizing that no man is an island and that, when the climate bell tolls, it will toll on Wall Street and in Greenwich, and not merely in blue-collar America.”
DC Lambert writes: “A case in point why we need FEMA and a robust federal government. And since the federal government has access to unlimited monies, as creator of the dollar, I wish some leader would just buckle down, stop tossing money to banks, and instead give money to millions of out of work construction workers, electricians, etc., who can rebuild and modernize our dangerously old electric grid and infrastructure.
It is criminal to even assert that states can handle these crises separately based on their own individual budgets, many of them in bankruptcy. But we all know those saying the government should be ‘drowned in the bathtub’ are the first folks in line for help during a natural crisis like this. Tolstoy said humanity’s biggest problem was hypocrisy. This election season, I am inclined to agree.”
- How Hurricane Sandy Downgraded the Election and Upgraded Our Barn-Raising Spirit (huffingtonpost.com)
- Romney Ridiculed ‘Rising of Seas,’ Pledged Deep cuts to FEMA (Videos) (juancole.com)
- Hurricane Sandy blows away election ephemera, leaving stark choice | Ana Marie Cox (guardian.co.uk)
- Hurricane Sandy: live – Telegraph – Telegraph.co.uk (telegraph.co.uk)
- Mitt Romney Refuses To Talk About FEMA After Hurricane Sandy Event (huffingtonpost.com)
- NYTimes uses Sandy to make the case for big government, against Romney (theblaze.com)
- Get Rid of FEMA? Right-Wingers Push Insane Privatization Scheme in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy (alternet.org)
- NYT Editorial Rips Romney’s Argument For Shutting Down FEMA (huffingtonpost.com)