Friday, November 9, 2012

Silence Explained


 comforts me, enfolds me
breath prayer


    I have been too busy to write a blog post since the storm hit almost  two weeks ago,  but I did jot down my thoughts as the days unfolded. 

    Although this has been a busy and difficult time for my family, we consider ourselves very lucky. Our children are safe and their  homes are intact. Our home is not damaged and our lives will eventually return to normal.  

   Others have not been  so lucky.   There are thousands of people who have suffered and are still suffering, devastating losses from this storm, in NY and NJ especially.

   Here are some of my random musings in the aftermath of the storm known as Sandy, more prayer than poem. 

A Direct Hit

This feels like another seismic change,
 not unlike 9-11

(thank God we are alive)

how unusual
to prioritize once one is off the grid
live wires on the ground
trees blocking the roads
communications nil,
food spoiling,
scarce gas

 check on family,

(thank God for the basics)

it's weird
 hearing the helicopters every half hour or so
and seeing people walking around town,
carrying gas cans,
looking for fuel to keep a generator going
hearing sirens every few minutes,
firemen and policemen
 on the way to yet another house fire,
live wire,
crushed car, 
gas leak,
 all the while knowing
  those first responders' houses
are without power
or washed away too
and to see nurses carrying newborn babies 
down flights and flights
while breathing for them
amazing, really

(thank God for  heros)

it's strange
 to see generator cables stretched across streets
neighbors sharing power,
offering food and a bit of 'juice'
to keep the refrigerator going a few more hours, 
folks charging cells in the beauty parlor,
the beauty parlor giving free shampoos
people walking to get gas for generators
to keep each other warm
cashiers still cheerful and smiling
after days and days of non-stop work
at the only open market for miles and miles

(thank God for neighbors)

it's oddly normal 
to have a houseful of refugees
family without power,
 unable to stay in cold, lifeless houses
 sharing space with a parent and a child, 
after all these years
finding a way to share cramped space,
be patient with one another,
pitching in,
all for one and one for all

(thank God for family)

how ironic
 to meet three linemen from Missouri, 
on my way to vote in an election so divisive
one might think we were on the brink of civil war,
if one listened to the tv
or read certain political blogs,
midwesterners from red state country
 cheerfully fixing blue state power lines
a few blocks from my home, 
how neighborly of them to come so far,
and how good it is to be 'one nation'

(thank God for 'indivisible')

how sad 
to witness suffering a few miles away,
folks I meet in the supermarket and at church
now homeless, belongings destroyed
the spectre of their beloved photos and memories
at the curb
how can I help?

(thank God we can share)

how scary
  to move a 90 year old from her cold, dark house,
the only place where she is comfortable
at this time in her life,
to disrupt her forgetful brain,
knocking what little starch was left, out of her,
 then watching her sleep non-stop for three  days
wondering if the storm would kill her
as she slept in my bed

                                      (thank God for the life we have)

 how blessed 
am I to have a wonderful caregiver
to help minister to my mother
giving her the care I am not able to give
I can never repay her
for the love and kindness she showers
on my mother

(thank God for caregivers)

how bizarre
 to be dry eyed for ten days
then drive by a formerly gorgeous tree,
fractured, broken
twisted, half standing,
roots overturning the sidewalk,
 trunk grotesquely exposed,
and burst into tears.

(thank God I can plant another tree)

how amazing
to have a partner
a soulmate, a loyal friend
at my side through it all
ready for whatever I need
 with flashlight, screwdriver
 and  quiet strength

(thank God for you, my love)

how comforting,
all I have to do is
  feed the refugees,
 wash towels and dishes,

(thank God)

 and HAIKU HEIGHTS where the prompt for this week is 'silence.'


  1. Sending you lots of distant healing reiki hugs ~ and wonderful haiku ~ be safe ~ be well ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

  2. Hi Barbara, I've been thinking about you and wondering how you were. So glad to hear you and your family are safe and well! Nice haiku, and lovely thoughts on the aftermath of the storm. Take care :)

  3. Sweet Barbara... to be here, and share in your words, to take in this prayer to my heart, is touching me deeply... it is one thing to read about, it is another to live it as you are doing. Thank you for these words, for these insights and awareness, thank you for bringing our differences into the light of our oneness. You will continue to be in my prayers. With much love to you and all that you hold dear...

  4. Oh dear! It has been unreal to see the coastal damage and the loss of life and homes, NYC brought to a brief halt by that storm! We have been praying for all effected ... and hoping for a prolonged warm spell to let folks begin the clean-up and salvage efforts... this has certainly been a big wake-up call for everyone who thought they could blythely weather the storm ...I am so glad that you and yours are safe and sound!

  5. Oh dear! It has been unreal to see the coastal damage and the loss of life and homes, NYC brought to a brief halt by that storm! We have been praying for all effected ... and hoping for a prolonged warm spell to let folks begin the clean-up and salvage efforts... this has certainly been a big wake-up call for everyone who thought they could blythely weather the storm ...I am so glad that you and yours are safe and sound!

  6. Hope you and your loved ones are doing well ... do take care !!!

  7. Touching post! Praying for all who suffer in any way from this storm and the aftermath. God bless you all!! Cathy

  8. What a heartfelt share ~ Truly we don't know and count our blessings until one by one we realized these simple gifts are indeed extra ordinary gifts ~ Blessings to you and your family ~

  9. Having a thankful heart in spite of the circumstances shows such strength.
    Sending many good wishes to you.

  10. This is a great post and my best wishes too

  11. One of my sons moved from the UK to New York a day before the storm. It was quite a baptism. I feel for all those involved.

  12. I'm glad you're safe and thank you for writing your thoughts. This is a wonderful post!

  13. A beautiful post. I am glad to hear your family is safe.

  14. thank God for you - this is a beautiful post and you are so in our prayers! Some of our high school children (the older ones) are coming your way to provide some assistance - it is a wonderful opportunity for them to flex their hearts and use their muscle while we sit in our comfy chairs, least we can offer is our prayer.

  15. I am right across from you at BloggerSpirit, and my post is called "Stormy Weather?!" I'm talking about the storm too, but I'm in Texas and remembering our Hurricane Rita. I'm so glad you are okay.

  16. We see all the terrible pictures on TV and feel so badly for so many but reading your words here makes it all so much more real. A good thing that comes from these tragedies is that it brings people together like nothing else can and makes us appreciate the importance of everybody. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Your writing brings it all back to what is really important. Love your thankfulness in this. Hoping and praying for quick relief to all of who you have been affected by these devastating events.

  18. Thank God that you and your loved ones are ok. And praise God that you can thank Him in the circumstances. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing and for taking the time to visit my blog and commenting. May the Lord's grace and peace be multiplied to you.

  19. Silence is the Great Comforter, and I am so glad that you have found each other during this time of storm.

    Seven Haiku with Simon

  20. Great post and best wishes from the safety across the ocean. Our silent part of the world who rarely make the news but still feel we are part of a global world. Hope for a speedy recovery to you and yours.

  21. Thank you for sharing about this. I have been praying for everyone affected. It is good to hear from someone who is there whom God is using to answer prayers!

  22. whew...thank god for read your thoughts in the moment is pretty intense...and i am glad that you are well...hoping as well that now that safety is secure the clean up is not too rough in your area...i hope that life gets back to usual for you as well...i know for many it is going to be a long haul...

  23. So happy to know you are safe. Wonderul Haiku

  24. Such heartfelt thoughts --- I'm sending out even more Metta prayers for all those impacted by Superstorm Sandy. A pleasure to meet you, Barbara.

  25. {{ i appreciate deeply your observations with sandy...
    i was in mexico with rebecca when this super storm hit
    but as a florida girl
    with a lifetime spent there
    i have seen
    every kind of hurricane disaster...

    you have no idea of the long term effects
    on the environment
    on cities & small towns
    on people of all ages ...

    it is the coming together
    after the storm
    that lifts my hopes
    for mankind ... }}

  26. After any disaster with its wreckage there is celebration of generosity and gratitude.Your poem reminds me Whitman's Leaves of Grass and celebration of America and American spirit.
    Your poem touches the essence.

  27. Dear Barbara,
    I am so far behind in my blog reading! I'm so glad you and your family are safe. What a terrible ordeal for NJ and NY. My thoughts and prayers are with you. xxoo Nancy

  28. W naszej telewizji było sporo informacji o zniszczeniach spowodowanych przez huragan. To co przeżyliście, to był straszne. Cudownie, że cała Twoja rodzina nie poniosła strat. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.
    Our TV was a lot of information about the devastation caused by the hurricane. This is what survived, it was terrible. Wonderful that your whole family did not suffer losses. Yours sincerely.

  29. nice haiku, and a heart warming post. thank you.

  30. Thanks for this. What a great tribute to the time and events. Just beautiful. I'm so glad that you're safe and well.

  31. What a beautiful piece you have written here, capturing so many feelings of both you, your family and your friends and neighbors.

    Happy that you are safe and well and my wishes for a warm future.


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