Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Storm Update

We're doing okay here in Danville, VA.  

There was a strong wind last night that kept waking us up and making us wonder how our family and friends who were really in the path of Super Storm Sandy were doing today.

When we got up we started calling and checking on them.

Our first call was to Linda's parents.  Tony and Mabel are both 87 and living alone in Fairfield, CT, a town on Long Island Sound.  Sections of the town had a mandatory evacuation.  They didn't have electricity so we called Mabel on her cell.  At first we couldn't get through, but eventually we did.  Everything was okay.

Mabel said it was dark and wet and cold and windy.  Then she chuckled and told us she made instant coffee with tap water.  It was still warm.  Kind of.

Lillian told us that school start up here in Danville, VA, was pushed back by a couple of hours.

Linda's brother Bruce who lives in Milford, CT, within walking distance of the Sound was okay too.  He was on his way out to clean up the debris that was blowing around his yard.

I also got a note from Gregory F. Tague, a friend of mine who lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Here's what he said:

Four trees down on our block alone. One tree split in two. Trees on houses. One car totally smashed. Multiply that scenario across the city, across the tri-state area. Subways flooded. Bridges closed. Tunnels flooded. Breezy Point on fire. Lower Manhattan and Red Hook (Brooklyn) flooded. Unprecedented power outages - millions affected. A tanker ran ashore (onto a road) in Staten Island. Have never seen anything like this before.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Do We Learn Anything from History

Do we learn from history?  

As my mother would say, "That's the question."  

Maybe what history teaches us is that the only good we can ever have is that SUV, that Lexus or Infiniti.
Forget trying to change the global community. Forget trying to get justice for this schmuck or that schmuck.  Forget trying to convince some desert hooligans to appreciate the sanctity of the lives of other desert hooligans.

All there is -- all that we can hope for -- is the Amana ice-box and the Samsung combo DVD/Blu-Ray player because grace, justice, brotherhood, love, the age of aquarious, harmony and understanding are all lies.

You don’t think so?

Here's something Saul Bellow, a guy from my old neighborhood in Chicago, said:

"You think history is the history of loving hearts?  You fool!  Look at these millions of dead.  Can you pity them? Feel for them?  You can do nothing!  There were too many. We burned them to ashes, we buried them with bulldozers.  History is the history of cruelty, not love, as soft men think.  

"We have experimented with every human capacity to see which is strong and admirable and have shown that none is.  There is only practicality.  If the old God exists, he must be a murderer.  But the one true god is Death."

I’ve known big-time history professors and sociologists  who wonder about stuff like: what can we do with history and what can history teach us?  

Interesting question, but there are 7 billion other people saying, "Where can I get a good price on a Chevy?"

And why do they want to get a Chevy?  Because they know if they don't get it now before the next horde comes down from the mountains or the next ice age starts or the next natural or manmade madness starts they'll never get it, never touch something that once for a couple of minutes gave them the illusion that things were looking up.

So smile.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn: Fog

In Danville we go to sleep early. 

Wake in the dark morning as the birds are thinking about doing the same. 

Each day is the same as the day before, and different. 

Today there was a fog so thick that even the birds couldn't sing through it.


The photo is from Mimi's Toes Blog.