Saturday, September 10, 2011

Quick Takes: Disaster Edition

1.  Posting has been light here due to various catastrophes, of both the major kind that affect large swathes of the population, and the minor kind that are more like earthquakes or hurricanes in the soul.  My area has been badly hurt by flooding, and I've been spending time with my very ill mother.  It's strange how sometimes the outer landscape reflects the inner, and then there's no relief for the sufferer; he can neither go within for comfort, nor hope that the beauty of his surroundings will cheer him.

2.  We don't have television, so I will not see the Towers falling over and over again on this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.  And I didn't have television then, so I didn't have to watch it back then, either, for which I was grateful.  The first time I went downtown afterwards, near the end of September, 2001 -- I tried to avoid it, but I had an appointment to keep -- the ruins were still smoldering, and seeing them almost literally brought me to my knees.  Back then, all at once, the rest of America loved New York, but a few months later was back to hating us again for the usual reasons, mostly having to do, I think, with elitism and liberal values.  And yet New Yorkers took their lives into their hands, and continue to do so, every day in the pursuit of things that are objectively good, like going to work or school, performing acts of family and community service, attending religious services, etc.  The fear of my fellow Americans in the days and years following 9/11 seemed a little out of proportion to the threats they actually faced, while the ordinary courage and good-naturedness of New Yorkers seems to be the only way to live, no matter what we're facing.

3.  All tragedy is local, however, and my attention is focused on some very difficult things going on in my own community.  Posting will probably be light here for a little while.  May God bless everyone who reads here.

4. A song that has repeatedly played in my mind during the flood.  We need beauty even more than usual during a disaster.


Kimberlie said...

Beautiful music.

I did see the images over and over that day. If I think too much about that day I can still feel the horror of it. I won't be watching any TV tomorrow. It's not that I don't care, or that I won't honor the victims in my own way. I just don't want to support the sensationalizing of such a horrible, horrible, tragedy.

I'm proud of the citizens of NYC for all they did for each other in the aftermath.

Jane said...

I can't believe that I wasn't thinking about that song. I go to East Durham, NY every summer for the Irish festival there, and although that little hamlet and my parents' vacation house were spared, Greene County in general was very badly hit.

I first heard "Annan Waters" at that festival in East Durham, sung by Robbie and Roxanne O'Connell. I still like their version the best.

Pentimento said...

I don't know the Robbie O'Connell version, but it must be good. I've never been to the festival at East Durham, either, but I certainly heard about it on WFUV for many a year. Thank God your parents were spared. The damage where I am is pretty shocking.

Rodak said...

My prayers for all those suffering with the east coast flooding; but especially for you and your mother, and your whole family at this difficult and sad time. I know what it is like. My thoughts are with you.
As for 9/11, I'll be avoiding the tv today, as much as possible. Nationalistic hoopla is no way to express the grief of loss. I have often thought that if the pictures were not so spectacular--didn't have that Hollywood special fx quality--this whole tragic event would have been handled more appropriately and with greater dignity.

Pentimento said...

I have to agree, Rodak -- I think we need to mourn and remember the dead with a greater sensibility of quiet.

Anne-Marie said...

Pentimento, I've been thinking of your mother and wondering how she was doing. You and she continue in my prayers.

Pentimento said...

Thank you so much, Anne-Marie.