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My heart is in Florida this morning with friends and family who are weathering the storm or watching from afar with little sense of what will be waiting for them when they finally make it home.  It is unfathomable.  You get warnings sometimes, sure, but there is nothing you can do beyond the most basic steps of making sure you have food and water, boarding up windows, evacuating.  And then just waiting because there is nothing you can do to stop it from barreling over your life.

Once upon a time, there used to be one news story; one big event that dominated the news and the whole world seemed to focus on it.  But now it feels like the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, like a big crowded mass of news stories standing in front of a grave; North Korea and DACA and Harvey and Irma and the earthquake and Charlottesville and… the list goes on and on.  There is no world focus; no time to comment on one event before the attention turns to the next event.  Before you’ve had time to contribute to one relief effort, another one lines up.

People keep repeating that this isn’t unusual.  That it’s not that there are more bad things happening; it’s just that we have faster communication and therefore know about more things.  But it doesn’t feel that way.  At least not today.

Sending so many good thoughts southward, and holding whole states of people in my heart.


1 Jess { 09.10.17 at 7:57 am }

I agree, yes we can find out about things much faster, but the rapid fire with which bad news and disaster is piling up is definitely new. It feels like a vortex of awfulness. I hope for a respite and for some good news train, and that Irma isn’t as horrific as it seems it will continue to be, that there’s more stories of human resilience and survival than utter destruction. I hope.

2 Jenn P { 09.10.17 at 8:04 am }

Yes, this exactly. It is all increasing and our hyperconnectedness isn’t helping. I have a friend about to evacuate in Oregon, a friend who lives on St Thomas, and another who was unable to evacuate from south Florida. I can’t even focus on politics with all of this going on.

3 a { 09.10.17 at 9:01 am }

It’s too much…hoping for a reduction in catastrophic news soon.

4 Delayedbutnotdenied { 09.10.17 at 9:45 am }

Thanks for thinking of those along Hurricane Irma’s projected track.

I grew up listening to the Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band album. I remember the cover art well. I really like how you applied it as a metaphor to describe a “big crowded mass of news stories.” I didn’t know they were supposed to be standing in front of a grave. 😱

I like your writing style.

5 Cristy { 09.10.17 at 10:05 am }

It certainly is a massive downside of living in a world where communication is faster than ever. But there’s also a lot of bad happening right now. Transitions tend to usher in events like all of these. Thinking of you and yours during this period

6 nicoleandmaggie { 09.10.17 at 11:56 am }

No, this is not normal. This is unusual. It isn’t just increased communication. Whoever is saying that it is should stop because it is normalizing these (in many cases) purposefully man-made catastrophes. ACA, DACA, etc. etc. etc. wouldn’t be catastrophes if Russian interference in our election hadn’t worked.

Some of my colleagues are experts in foreign policy. They’ve been talking in the hallways about how nuclear war with North Korea is inevitable (based on stuff that is getting shunted aside in the news because of climate-change related problems and Trump-created problems). I was like, look, North Korea was my big worry 3 weeks ago… last week was Harvey, this week is DACA, next week is IRMA… can’t you wait a few weeks for me to pencil North Korea in again? Oh, and that inevitability– also caused by the current administration’s actions.

7 Raven { 09.11.17 at 9:19 am }

It is very, very scary right now. So many big things are happening, so much to fear and worry about. A couple months ago, my biggest concern was the tactless-ness of your president, and now there are much larger, much more consuming things to fear.

My heart is with Florida right now too.

8 Lori Lavender Luz { 09.11.17 at 9:17 pm }

I agree that it seems like Big Things are coming at us faster than ever.

But I also feel like my perception about it is not reliable. I have not lived in any other time periods, and the Facebook algorithm didn’t exist in other time periods, and that right now we are unprecedentedly connected and disconnected at the same time. So strange. I can’t tell what reality is (if such a thing exists).

I’m working on a post tangential to this. It’s percolating.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
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