Freaking About Tsunamis

Recruiting is brutal. It was hot and her recruiting chair didn’t have an umbrella. I think the school needs to buy her a chair with an umbrella. And a big bottle of Patron Tequila.

Softball is a slow game. Nothing happens for a long time, then there is a  hectic amount of shit that happens all at once.

She was watching a particular catcher. She doesn’t really look at skills–well, I shouldn’t say that. She looks at skills, but more than skills she looks at the kid’s attitude, and the how the kid’s parents behave.. If she sees some bad parental behavior, she leaves. Fortunately, this kid’s parents were chill. So we stayed for 3 or 4 innings, she saw what she wanted to see, then we left.

Our hotel was crawling with athletic teams. Kids with parents and coolers and the pool was packed, and loud, and the whole place had a soccer camp vibe.

We took showers and naps and played on the Ipads and I read this really frightening piece from the New Yorker about how a big earthquake and tsunami is due to hit the Pacific Northwest in the next, they-don’t-know-how-many-years, but soon, and now this is all I can think of.

Because of Em and Scott and Obie. I now want them to move. And they are moving, next month, to a new place, a little bit closer to the coast.

I want them to move away from the ocean. Far away. So the tsunami won’t kill them. I don’t know if they have seen this article yet or not, or what they think about it, but I, personally, do not want to move to Portland anymore.

I do not want to die in a natural disaster. I want to die peacefully. In my sleep. When I am 104.

Just the thought of everything I love in the world dying in a natural disaster makes me physically ill, and unable to sleep.  I want them to move away from Portland. They can stay in Oregon, but they need to back it way up. Way far away from the ocean. (This article said that the effects of the earthquake will be felt as far east as Sacramento.)

But they won’t move. They love it there. It’s their home. They will say that they can’t think of that. But the probability is 1 in 3. Within how many years? I don’t know. I forget. I would go back and re-read the article but I don’t want to. The article makes me feel sick. (Em, if you are reading this, I’m sorry. I can’t help it. I just wish you would move. This makes me so scared.)

Buddhists would say that I am feeling all these emotions because I am attached. Attachment is the cause of all suffering. Exactly. But how do you not be attached? I have also just started reading a book called The Surrender Experiment by the same guy who wrote The Untethered Soul, Mickey Singer. I am only a few pages in, but I think that his premise is that you must surrender to whatever happens. When you try to control things, that’s when everything goes haywire. Control is an illusion.

I guess. But I am really not there yet. I am not evolved to that point. I need to go and meditate. Right now. I need to find a way of framing this kind of stuff so that I can live with it.

A Tsunami of Caring

Flag of the Red Cross

Image via Wikipedia

Here I am, sitting in my pretty house, typing on a very nice laptop, with more than enough food and warmth on this sleepy, newly-clocks-turned-ahead morning on the verge of spring, wondering:

How do I get to have the freedom of distance from all the horror and sorrow in this morning’s papers?

How do I get to take a shower, a walk, do some yoga, meditate, write 750 words, do the sudoku puzzle, put a load of laundry in, and plan tonight’s dinner?

How come I get the luxury of pushing “mute” or “off” and then go resume my pretty little life with all my pretty little things?

How do I even have the luxury of feeling nauseous, or crying, or feeling panic or hopeless?

I am sitting here wondering: What can I do?  What can anyone do? I don’t have the knowledge or power to cool down a nuclear plant.

I can’t board a plane to Japan and help dig through rubble.

I can wire money through Paypal to the American Red Cross which I have done, but that seems so little in the face of this.

Little me, with my pretty life, and all my things, and the luxury of turning the devastation OFF.

I can be nauseous, but that doesn’t help the situation one tiny bit. Neither does my sorrow, my tears or my anger. None of that helps.

As I was walking up the stairs just now to my cozy lair and my space chair, carrying my nice computer and pondering these things, I thought of the lyrics to, Let There Be Peace On Earth, and especially the line, and let it begin with me.

And although this is very slim consolation, it is something.

What can I do?  I can be unfailingly kind.  Everyday.

I can resist with every atom in my body: anger, hatred, pettiness and complaining. I can stay mindful, awake and aware.

I can try to broaden my sphere of influence so that as many people as possible can take shelter under my umbrella of kindness.  And maybe be affected by it, and then go and affect others.

That’s all I can do.  It has to start with me.  Every epidemic started with one person and then spread, right?  I can try to start an epidemic of kindness and caring and just hope that the “Butterfly Effect,” which states that when a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world it can cause a hurricane in another part of the world, is true.

I can try to start a tsunami of kindness and caring that might someday even reach Japan, but even if it just reached Main St that would be okay.