Sandy on my mind


Sandy has passed flooding our shores, washing our brains, New Yorkers have come out this morning like rats out of their holes as morning of the day after has broken upon the Island. Coffee in one hand, android in the other, they are assessing in their own way the damages, taking pictures of broken trees, battered parks, broken benches. At the Northern tip of the Island, the Carl Schurz Park is a mess. Centennial trees are down; branches are blocking pathways. With the FDR closed, the image of the day is taking a picture of your friend walking on what is usually the busiest highway of Manhattan. All talks are on Sandy, exchanging news on water damages and power cuts on Brooklyn, New Jersey or Suffolk County. Friends are calling, asking how it was and each one of us is Anderson Cooper reporting, texting, twitting, participating in the instant news as I am precisely doing right now. Brains washed, winds whirling in our minds. Yesterday it was a day off (as is today), a day for thoughts, words, books. All I could do last night was go back to watching TV , looking at events unfold on the screen: A tree has fallen in Bergen County, a crane in Manhattan, a ship has landed on Staten Island. There is a sort of excitement when such a powerful event occurs. What is going to happen next? Expectation mixed with fear takes control of our brains. On the high floor where I live, powerful winds were battering the windows last night. Were the windows going to shatter? How resistant were they? A noisy in-draft was coming from the corridor, so powerful that I could not open the door to the apartment. I was trapped in my flat. If a fire had started, I could not have opened the door. I was isolated, cut from the word if it was not for the ongoing bewildering news. Selfishly and inappropriately for a minute I envied those with no power who could live the experience fully, be cut from the world, from the news. Of course, I did not really wish so as I know that loss of power means loss of water pumps, rotten food, and much more. And my heart goes to those with broken houses and dismantled lives.
Today is another day off, a silent day with no traffic if it is not for the wind.
The East river is free of boats, the FDR free of cars, my brain free of thoughts.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Sandy on my mind

  1. Florent

    Pensée pour vous d’un coin tranquille. Florent Leclercq

  2. Catherine Starkman

    I love what you wrote as usual. I would have feel totally the same way if I had experienced that Sandy syndrome.
    What a talent to express your philosophy.
    Catherine Starkman

  3. Anne de Louvigny

    Dear Pascale,
    Congratulations. Good description of what we just went through…
    Anne

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