Nor’Easter

6 Nov

I moved back to the West Coast from NYC nine months before 9-11. I remember thinking, “Oh, my Lord. What compelled me to leave and what of my friends still there?” Similarly, when the tsunami hit Indonesia, I experienced a similar reaction. I could have been there. After all, I lived there for a year. Why had I been lucky and others not?

In our ever shrinking world, where media outlets provide us access to global news instantaneously, now more than ever we can empathize with the plights of others. And yet, paradoxically, we can just as easily tune out the day’s news with the flick of the remote, settling into our regular programming of “The House Wives of Orange County”, “American Idol”, “Survivor” or “The Amazing Race.” And we call these shows “reality t.v.” There is something quite incongruous in that what is fantastical we call real and what is real, we observe as if it were fiction.

I am just as guilty. If we’re not immediately impacted, we typically go back to our regular lives.

I had almost stopped thinking about hurricane Sandy but I have friends on the East Coast who were impacted and I am currently in Pittsburgh, so am tracking news of the incoming Nor’Easter that could wreck more havoc on the North Eastern seaboard.

I watch the news. I pray. I call in money to the Red Cross. And then I wonder how it is that I am in a warm hotel room with a full belly.

On the plane out here, I indulged myself in a light novel called “A Gift from Tiffany’s.” It’s a lovely little read set in NYC at Christmas. I remember the holidays in NYC and indeed, they can be magical. But NYC can also be a very tough place to live and New Yorkers themselves are strong for this very reason.

It is my deepest hope that NYC will soon be aglow in holiday cheer. That Rockefeller Center will soon have skaters and a gynormous Christmas tree. However, right now I’m aware that thousands are still without power, that temperatures are dropping, and that the winds are set to rise again. FB tells me it’s 91 degrees in my home town of San Diego and I wonder at how luck divides – us and them.

Whether it’s Hurricane Sandy or conflict in the Middle East or genocide in Africa – I am them and they are me.

Yes, some of us live in alternative universes, but we must never lose sight of the fact that we’re all on the same planet.

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One Response to “Nor’Easter”

  1. Blair November 6, 2012 at 1:16 am #

    Beautiful, Lise. Inspiring.

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