Friday, September 12, 2008

Ike, Part 2

It's 3:19 p.m. and the skies are getting darker. It should start to rain in the next hour or so. The actual eye of the hurricane is supposed to hit the coast around midnight.

How do you prepare when there's nothing left to do? I actually went out again this morning to do some last, last minute shopping. I have everything we'll need (as far as can be predicted at this moment), but it seemed like another dozen eggs and some cereal were a good idea. Granola bars. Olive oil? I'm baking brownies right now, because who doesn't want to pig out on brownies when times are tough?

It's strange, the things you do. Three years ago, I packed up my vastly less complicated and intricate life and evacuated to Austin, ahead of Hurricane Rita. An interesting exercise in boiling down exactly what the "essentials" of your life are. This time, since we are staying put (not in the mandatory evacuation zone, decided to follow the directions of our civic leaders this time), I cleaned house yesterday. Did laundry, even the bathroom and kitchen rugs. Went to the grocery store. Stocked the bar and the fridge and got an ice chest ready. Am coming to terms with the inevitable power outage. And, watching the endless loop of moment-to-moment coverage on TV.

People are amazingly optimistic. I'm supposed to teach a class Sunday afternoon. "Oh, yes, we'll be open!" I'm wondering if anyone will have power. I'm wondering if it's smart to drive across town the day after a hurricane. Who knows what streets will be blocked, what power lines will be down? Several of my students and I are in denial about our ability to keep appointments for the next few days. "Oh, sure, everything will be fine by then." I have my own areas of denial, corners of neglect and hoping for the best. It's part of being human to have these "blind spots."

I plan to do a lot of Awareness Through Movement while I'm sequestered here. There's nothing like taking a break to lie on the floor, to become quiet, and to notice details. The movement seems to shed light in the blind spots, and new possibilities for effective action always result. I notice the shape of my skeleton and how I position myself for greatest comfort. I notice the places in my body that are active when they don't need to be. I can constructively rest and renew my physical, mental, and emotional resources.

So, if you're not in Houston and you're reading this, send some good vibes, and send some dough to the Red Cross. They are gonna need it. If you are in Houston and you're reading this, we had a better outcome than was expected. Here's hoping for the best. Stay safe.

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