November 2, 2023

Chaos / Collision

Today I’m working on a hard section of my Big Fat Writing Project. It’s a particular stage of long term “recovery.” When the needs of those impacted directly collide with the bureaucracies intended to “assist”.

I’ve struggled with this chapter. Wrestling with this material is a good mirror of the experience itself. (Mirror: a reflection of the thing. Not the thing.) Chaos.

How we think about the aftermath of catastrophic events is slowly changing. War or weather. How we go on. Begin again. New realities are setting in.

That “going on” process and twenty years of stories come into focus for me with each new disruption in the world. Usually early in the morning. 4:00AM clarity.

I’m hustling to finish up. Next year I’ll travel again. I’ve been changed by all I’ve seen. Even as I write about plans for next year, in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “I’ll travel — if the world doesn’t completely melt down.”  I had a plan that included Lebanon but not now. All plans are bracketed by a big IF.

I don’t mind this constant thinking about disaster. I don’t walk around with a sense of doom. Only the calm that comes with a full understanding of our true predicament on this small round village we occupy in this great big universe.

I know we are a messed up species – often greedy, violent, short sighted, arrogant, murderous. But we are also capable of the most extraordinary creative generosity and exquisite tenderness even when our backs are against the wall and our survival is at stake. Or perhaps especially when.

I love US. I really do.

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