Friday, July 26, 2013

Considering Disaster

Photo of my teddy bear ©

Hurricanes (Katrina) Tornados (Moore) Floods (Everywhere)
global warming, neighborhood change, seven billion needy humans
so we try to, and consider what to grab when
sirens alert that the walls might fall away and we're left to the
forces of earth, wind, water, and sky
            and what to save - (first) the living (not the plants)
                       yes, then(?) to take
                           water, credit cards, identification, ...
of course
one looks at the treasures of a life
can they be backpacked? a few items to hold on to
if one is left living on the street, in a shelter, or somewhere else
what then to choose
when every gift, every smile, every struggle's evidence is gone.

Pictures of the cherished dead,
  A wedding ring
Love letters
Poems you wrote
A thumb worn book
A hard won prize
Something small (yes) - a token, a locket, a rosary, a stone--
               your childhood teddy bear who held you in the dark.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * 7.26.2013


  1. Gay, this is so thought-provoking. Every now and again I sit and look around me and realize that some day I will be letting go of it all. In a disaster situation what counts? We had a fire near us years ago, and a couple of floods since we moved here (near the Truckee River) and did put some mementos, medications, and I don't remember what else in the car. Thankfully, we didn't have to evacuate. But you watch people who have lost everything and they are just grateful to be alive and have loved ones safe. Makes you think, heh?

    1. Yes we did that at the beach with every hurricane scare. Now after four months of doing nothing but sorting wheat, chaff and mementos - what to keep, what to throw away - lift, carry, and find another place for -- I look around and hope the work was worth it. Yet, the neighborhood is in turmoil with a new drainage project and heavy equipment is in the drainage ditch behind my house as close in one place as 30 inches and they are having to be so careful not to hit my roof which overhangs it. Each day I wonder if it will miss and we'll have to leave, shore up a break, rebuild all or part of the house if the roof, foundation, or support pillars for one reason or another collapse. It's all necessary as change always come, but does make me think!
      Thanks Victoria. And thanks for being my friend!!

  2. its interesting to think what few small things you might gather in that instance...what is important, beyond the living, what could we not do without...dont know what i would have an attachment to that i would probably...

  3. I keep my external hard drive in my purse - always by the door to the garage. Ha! Pictures and music and poems, oh my!

    1. My hubby keeps everything in the google cloud but there are still some old pictures and letters we have not scanned and updated ~ Good reminder Gay ~

    2. Might back them up anyway. Last week Google cloud caused my entire folder of poems to disappear. They were the most recent edits, and fortunately I had them saved elsewhere...but google, I'm afraid, is still buggy!

    3. Thanks for the tip Gay ~ Have a good weekend ~

    4. Ooo--I have been using that as a backup. Will change my ways immediately!

  4. I live in a tornado area, and I have already had to go to a 'safe place' when the sirens have blown. I take my computer, iPad, iPhone. LOL. AND my dogs.

    1. I dread that sound when the sky is green. Yes, those devices hold so much. The things we want to last beyond the machine. Thanks Mary!

  5. Gay, this is wonderful. What to take, what to save. We buried my sister's teddy bear with her when she died at 29. She still slept with it on her bed. That would have to be kept, as well.

    1. What a tragedy to lose her so early. My heart hurts for you - but there's magic in a teddy. That's mine above. I got him when I was in the crib..he's as old as me ;) Thanks for sharing that information with me. I'll remember it.

  6. This is very moving. I used to be so connected to my yard. I talked about Ivan killing my tree in my post. I never thought so much how fleeting culture is and how large nature is until Ivan came to visit. And never connected to my Neighbors until the front porch finally got used with no electricity.

    I still loved Hurricanes. I forgave Ivan and watched Katrina grow, which just happens to be my wife's name. I can remember being in the gym I work out at and fantasizing the winds would grow stronger and stronger to 200 miles an hour.

    I finally learned more about empathy when I experienced pain for me. I don't like Hurricanes anymore because I know about pain.

    I finally feel free from all those losses that Hurricanes give, because I understand that the only important part of me is what remains in other people when I connect to them. My son taught that to me, but I never understood it fully until I finally felt his pain.

    Sorry for the long comment but your writing here moves a special life long interest in life and Hurricanes. Love to you. I don't know why but when I say that to strangers I am afraid they might think I'm creepy. That's what's really lost in our culture.


    I found it in another culture far past a desert called Pakistan. It has no physical form but is more beautiful than anything I see. Living in a Love culture there are fewer needs for material things, or at least so much smaller want for each and every one.

    I will now proudly say blessings love true will to you all my friends.

    I wonder how much different the US would be if it is against the law not to say that after any conversation on the internet.

    Liberty and Love are interesting lovers.

  7. I send love liberally and take it where I find it without judgment - just because it's written not spoken in person doesn't mean it isn't meant. I have found true friendship here at dVerse.

    I'm glad this piece touched you. I'm writing more about what's in my mind as a result of writing with and to people here.

    I remember the fascination with Katrina as the red circle swelled on the weather maps to cover the entire gulf and remember staying up late shivering with concern and wonder. I literally wanted to jump out of my house and through the sky to New Orleans when I heard the call come through to CNN from the nurse saying her hospital was flooding because the dam down the street had failed. It was a long night for those who watched. It was unforgettable displacement for those who lived it. It was chilling as the denouement for Benjamin Button which brought it all back.

    Peace and love to you too!

  8. Thought-full and -provoking. What to save, indeed. Katrina was horrifying to watch, and then we had Sandy (but no evacuation here). One looks around and wonders, what here is essential, irreplaceable? Honestly? Not much.
    Thank you.

  9. i wonder what i would grab first once the fam is safe - really have to think about this - but then - in an emergency situation you don't have time to think and maybe grab automatically the thing that means most? i don't know..

  10. It's hard to think about, but I think you have a good list here.

  11. I still have my bear. Mine was called Arthur.