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Jean's Blog (Check out links to Guest Blogs in lefthand Column)

After The Storm

November 7, 2012

Tags: Manhattan, Mayor Bloomberg, winter.

New York City has slowly lumbered to its feet after the most devastating storm to hit the Tri-State area in living memory . Power is back on in most areas of Manhattan, and shivering New Yorkers are exhaling gratitude and delight as they stand again in hot showers, eat hot food cooked in their own kitchens, and find many buses and subways running to take them about their daily tasks. Being able to charge electronic devices in one's own home has begun to feel like a luxury not to be taken lightly. Televisions are casting their light into living rooms, and computers are knitting the world back into a pattern it has learned to rely on. People fitting awkwardly into the lives and homes of friends and family during the crisis have moved out of these makeshift communes into their own familiar environments, thankful for the shelter and power, even more thankful for a return to privacy and familiarity. Most kids are back in school, although the city had to undertake a tremendous clean-up operation to ready school buildings that had been used as shelters for days, and one has to wonder where all those unfortunate people have gone, who are now homeless for an indeterminate amount of time until their houses and apartments are restored to them.
Today, I am thinking of the time, many years ago, when I saw John Geilgud in King Lear. He was a force of nature as he echoed Nature's force in Shakespeare's words:

"Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!
Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!"

I think of Lear today because Nature has once again unleashed its full powers outside my window, albeit less furiously than Hurricane Sandy. Powerful winds are swirling over Manhattan with gusts of over 60 miles an hour, sleet and wet snow are driving sideways, assaulting anything in the storm's path. Mayor Bloomberg again has cautioned everyone to stay indoors until this Nor'easter has stopped shaking us like dead leaves in a gale. Winter has come roaring into my world, leering at departing autumn, catching trees still heavy with their glory of color and hurling them to the ground.
I am so grateful for shelter, and heat, and good books to read. I am grateful for life, and all those caring hearts. I am grateful that President Obama won a second term. I have hope for the future and pleasure in the past.

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