Thursday, May 26, 2011

Twist and Shout



Human beings want to understand. We love the question why? Even more than the question, we love to answer that question. It's part of who we are at an essential level: creators of narratives, story tellers, theoretical philosophers. Yeah, we LOVE our explanations so much. (I like my explanations, definitely, though as I grow older I'm becoming more fond of the question than the story, which is in itself an explanation of why I've been willing to flop around this past week, wondering rather than pontificating. ... Maybe.)

Today I'm checking in with friends who live in Indiana, making sure they're all safe and sound. Thanks to Facebook, I know that every one of my dear ones in Missouri is OK. Thank god. This spring has been a season of terrible storms, hail and fierce tornadoes in the American south and midwest. Death and destruction is usually picked up by the news media, so it's likely everyone on the planet already knows that since Monday, dozens of people have been killed, many hundreds of buildings have been destroyed, by terrible storms.

One of my sister Deborah's theories is that the reason the American midwest is called the Bible Belt is because of its harsh weather. In the past, prior to the time when accepting meteorological narratives was the norm, I can see how people might have created stories of biblical-style punishment to explain the extreme weather in the midwest.

Among people who share my values, it's likely that global warming will be blamed for these storms. Because of human overpopulation and industrialization, our species has contributed significantly to climate change, true dat - but there have always been seasons of extreme weather. I hesitate to place blame on us. Saying it's because of us that the midwest is being pounded this week sounds suspiciously like we're being punished for being so wasteful and greedy. I'm not clear this is the reason why. I could be wrong, of course.

I have no doubt Harold Camping believes this outbreak of terrible storms is part of the destruction of the earth, the end of times. The timing of this weather, directly following his proclamation of an "invisible" Rapture on May 21, is pretty interesting. His interpretation sounds crazy to me, but his timing? Fairly amazing.

Here's what I'm thinking: I'm wondering about the boldness of the tornadoes this year, how they're slamming into residential areas and cities. Ordinarily, these sky dragons tend to stay out in the country, but not this year. What is that all about?

My heart goes out to everyone who has been affected by the devastating weather. May they all find the strength to deal with what has happened. May it be so. Shalom.

18 comments:

Pam said...

We have been following the reports here in Australia Reya, and my thoughts and prayers are with those severely affected by such devastation and destruction.

The Bug said...

Our hail storm seemed so terrifying last night - I can't even imagine what it would be like to be in the middle of a tornado.

It does feel like the storms are hitting targets this year - not just randomly roaming around.

Reya Mellicker said...

Theories? Stories? Narrative?

Reya Mellicker said...

Here's a Washington Post opinion piece linking the weather to global warming.

Called that one, didn't I??

Jo said...

I love that both our posts today are about this spring and have dance names in the title!

Maybe Mother Nature is feeling a bit more aflame with passion this year than others? I hear that happens sometimes.

Much love to you today, Reya.

ellen abbott said...

the planet definitely goes through cycles. I do think this particular cycle has been kick started by the effect of the human population. there are just so many of us. as to why the tornados are hitting populated areas this year...perhaps it's something akin to the hundred year flood plain.

Meri said...

I think it's interesting that the same question can generate many alternative stories as the storyteller's focus and experience changes. And I heard the rapture has been moved to October. Oops. . . .

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Hi Reya,
My thoughts wandered over to you this morning. Though I haven't been blogging I popped in to see what you're discussing this morning. This is, no doubt, because my daughter arrived in DC last night for her summer there. Interesting notion your sister has about the "bible belt".

Reya Mellicker said...

Jo that is cool!

I like the idea that spring is feeling passionate this year. Since I dance in shamanic alignment with the seasons, it goes quite a ways towards explaining my obsessions of late, yes?

Ellen, yeah 100 year storms ... that makes sense.

And YES Meri, yes yes.

Jeanette I miss your blog. Are you on Facebook? Would love to stay in touch.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

La Nina has caused crises in my area as well. No tornadoes please, but we desperately need rain. East of IH-35, east of Austin, TX is the area of Texas with the most severe drought. It is scary to think what an extended drought can do.

The Pollinatrix said...

It definitely seems as though our planet is in transition, but maybe I'm just reading it that way because I'm in one of my own. But then again, it's all connected.

My take on the Saturday rapture thing is that it did in fact happen, and now we're all in heaven. :)

Tom said...

i'm not sure about the effects of global warming either...but it's never a bad idea to err on the safe side. have you hugged your tree today? So far, so good in Indiana...except for the neverending rain. What a spring! I think the farmers here are all set on planting rice this summer instead of corn! (ha)

mouse (aka kimy) said...

did you hear how old harold pulled an "oops!" and said he did his calculations wrong and that the rapture is REALLY going to happen october 21st

as someone i love likes to say 'oh, yeah'

i tend to saddle up with those that feel the intensification of storms is do to global climate change.... seems pretty well supported by empirical information.

and then again weather happens!

you take care friend.....

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm not sure we're smart enough or have enough of a sense of the power of this planet to decide why things take place.

This is NOT an excuse to be wasteful and greedy, btw.

Nancy said...

I've heard that there is extreme elctromagnetic anomolies coming from the sun. I haven't been able to verify that yet, but we do know that other planets are also warming - so it isn't entirely man-made global warming weather patterns. However, the heating of the planet does make for some wild weather.

steven said...

reya, while feeling the sorrow and compassion i do for all those people whose lives have been so deeply affected by the storms around the world, i step back and ask this question: why do the very large weather systems of our planet need to create tornadoes and hurricanes and cyclones when and where they do? the mind of nature is filled with the imperative of purpose. so you know they serve some purpose in the larger whole that isn't emotional or based on the need to "teach a lesson", or "targeting". i wonder in the whole of the natural systems - of which we are one very small part - what they do? they are a piece of currents and rivers and oceans of air moving around. they aren't malicious or deliberate in any way. they just are. i wonder. steven

Pauline said...

To think that all our heat and gas and pollutant generating activities have NO affect on the weather seems odd to me. That storms "target" populated or unpopulated areas is something much harder to prove. Formerly it was trailer parks that fared the worst. Is that because there are more trailer parks developed in storm prone areas?

I so agree with your assessment that we are a story-telling species - it's one of our greatest charms and one of our worst faults...

rommelfernandes said...

Lovely pics.
Goa honeymoon