Post Sandy - saxtonstudio blog
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Post Sandy

It’s been a week since Sandy started to rip up New Jersey and New York City, and it’ll be a long road to fix things. Places that have been “in my backyard” for many, many years have been shredded and rocked to pieces.

So for what it’s worth, I just can’t let this pass without comment, without saying out loud that my heart aches for the people hit hardest, who have lost everything, who have the unimaginably daunting task ahead of rebuilding.

I might also be experiencing a microcosm of “survivor guilt”. Yes, 90% of our inland town has been without power until yesterday, when it went to 50%. Yes, there are wires down, trees down, home and car damage. Clerks use flashlights to assess mostly empty grocery shelves. Gas stations are closing; those open had 4-hour gas lines; yesterday rationing began. Schools are closed. But our downtown is open and we are far, far more fortunate than those along the coast. (There is no comparison.) And on a more personal level, my little street was one of the 10% with power.

Pangs of something resembling guilt arise ~ although I know it was through no action of my own, just a stroke of luck. I also know that feeling bad for not suffering as much as someone else does not take away their strife. So I choose to be grateful, and share with friends in need.

Sandy’s not all that different from disasters in other parts of the world ~ the difference is the proximity to home; the similarity is a sense of  one’s hands being tied. You see and hear about what’s happening. You feel terrible. You go about your business. Which sounds harsh ~ but I don’t think it’s so much insensitivity as it is a helplessness to “do” anything of significance combined with the natural urge towards “life”.

You can pray. You can offer soup cans. If you can get there, you can help at a shelter. If you have money, you can give that. But you are not going to house and feed thousands of people or put their memories in order or salvage their losses, and you are not going to fix the subway system. All your feelings of compassion have nowhere to go. Those feelings don’t fix the scale of broken things brought on by a natural disaster. But you wish they could.

I find it hard to look at some of the images, but one thing I can say is ~ the human spirit is indeed magnificent and strong. Bless the emergency units, the utility workers, the fireman, the police, the military, the animal rescue teams, local businesses and regular everyday people who’ve been helping in any way they can ~ and continued prayers that those who need help will be comforted.

~ Patricia

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Patricia Saxton

No Comments
  • Stephanie M. Scotti

    November 5, 2012 at 8:45 am Reply

    Thank you Pat for reminding all of us of the continued suffering. Prayers and peace to all of our friends and family impacted.

    • saxtonstudio

      November 5, 2012 at 9:23 am Reply

      It’s not something any of us want to stare in the face, but for too many folks, it’s much too real. Here, it’s more surreal, but the heart aches nonetheless.

  • leslie

    November 5, 2012 at 8:08 am Reply

    absolutely, beautifully said. AMEN

  • Meg Evans Daniels

    November 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm Reply

    Thanks for this post. You nailed it with the feeling of guilt, helplessness, and gratitude. For Katrina, we donated a bedroom set to a displaced family. For Sandy, I sent money. What else can I do from Ohio?
    Just hoping that when it’s my turn, others will do something. We all can do SOMETHING.

    • saxtonstudio

      November 5, 2012 at 9:21 am Reply

      Thanks, Meg. And you’re right, we can all do “something”. Some can do more, some less ~ and sometimes that “something” seems small in the face of events so large, but no kindness is ever wasted.

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