Processing… I haven’t. There are still too many people who are without power, whose homes have been destroyed, too many people who continue to have no heat, no hot water or any water at all, too many displaced people, too many who have lost so much…. How does one process this?
Nic had nightmares last night about a zombie apocalypse where he was the lone survivor. Emma is perseverating more than usual; her stims have gotten noticeably worse; her scripting more pronounced. I watched her yesterday as she did her Sunday morning DJ routine, listening to all her favorite songs, singing and dancing, losing herself in the music and felt both grateful for all we have and utterly exhausted. I slept seven and half hours last night and yet feel as though it were 5. I am feeling fragile particularly sensitive and emotional, and we were the lucky ones. We have power, heat, hot water, a home that is undamaged, everything’s back to “normal” and yet it isn’t. I don’t know what normal means anymore. Where do we go from here? How do we process this?
On Friday I went downtown and took photographs. The lighting wasn’t great, it was impossible to capture the mood or what it felt like to walk along empty streets where the only lights came from headlights on busses, taxis and those who still had enough gas in their cars to get around. I couldn’t photograph the group of young women weeping in the street or the man looking for his father whom he had not heard from in four days or the old woman painstakingly climbing the stairs of her unlit building, her pug tugging on its leash, urging her upwards into the darkness or the faces of all those people I passed obsessively checking their dead cell phones, trudging north with the hope they might find an available electrical socket that would breathe life into it. I’m not a skilled enough photographer to be able to capture any of that. (I’ve provided a couple of links to some professional photographers who were though.) But I did get a few images that at least document the storm and our resilience…
One of the many Chelsea art galleries whose flooded basement held art work.
An intrepid New Yorker who found a way to stay open despite the power outage downtown
The “Doll House” on 8th Avenue
Emma wasn’t able to go trick or treating, but she still dressed as a butterfly on October 31st
The Statue of Liberty during the storm
We are capable of so much.
- A City Divided (emmashopebook.com)
- Best photograph of the NY power outage (piedtype.com)
- Photographs of a New York City Plunged Into Darkness After the Storm (petapixel.com)
Thanks for sharing. I’m having trouble with this, too, situated far from the reality. Seeing the photos of places I used to live and work and play and realizing how much of that is changed or gone forever. When the twin towers came down it didn’t really hit me till I went into the City to see for myself, and then I was overwhelmed, and I cried. I think this is worse.
It is bizarre, Michael. When the towers were hit the entire world grieved. The magnitude of what had happened, of how we were forever changed was felt, I think, by almost everyone. It represented the loss of our innocence on some level. I don’t know that it is the same with this storm. In some ways people feel more helpless, the only “war” we can engage in is to reduce the impact we are having on the environment. Some are feeling it is too late for that, while others do not believe these natural disasters are occurring as a direct result of anything we are doing. A neighbor expressed astonishment when I made a comment that this was likely to happen again. He said, “Oh but this was a once in a lifetime thing. It won’t happen again!” I would love to believe he was right, but I don’t believe that’s realistic…
Not to get all political, but that’s why I voted for the party who actually believes that global warming exists! 😉
Reblogged this on wincharles.
poor butterflys in nyc
Arianne my thoughts have been with you and your family through all this. I am relieved you are safe, glad some normalcy is being restored. It is surreal, what you are going through is unprecedented in your area of the country. Hoping many lessons are learned and relearned by society at large in the days and weeks ahead.
Thank you so much. I hope people will be able to make the connection that these storms, once unheard of, are now becoming something we can expect more frequently.
Ariane, again, I am so glad that all is well and that soon a calm will return to your home. As a Floridian I thought Hurricanes were reserved for us southerners and was rather surprised to see that NY actually has a history of hurricanes as well and has been hit with storms as strong as Cat 3. Maybe knowing there is a history can help increase awareness that the possibility always has and still does exist. Just want to keep my friend and her family safe! 🙂 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_York_hurricanes
Charlotte – Really didn’t want to respond to this with anything other than a heartfelt thank you, but I must tell you that if the implication to your comment is hurricanes in NY have always occurred, albeit rarely (if you look at the link you sent, there were far fewer storms affecting NY in the 1800’s compared to more than THREE times that in the 1900’s, and only 12 years into the 21st Century it looks as though we will be topping that) and that therefore one can conclude this is a once in a life time event that will not be repeated is a conclusion I cannot make. http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/gw-real/
I understand that there are those who believe global warming is a sham and doesn’t exist, but the damage done by the policies those people want to employ will do far more damage to all of us if they are wrong than if we take the changes in weather seriously.
I’m not sure how you think my family will be “safe” by suggesting NY has always had hurricanes. What exactly are we “safe” from?
I don’t mean to sound abrasive, but honestly, this kind of thinking makes no logical sense to me at all.
I knew there was no way I could write my comment without it sounding snarky, which by no means was my intent. I was simply trying to point out a historical perspective which so often gets lost in this world of right now. Just simply that storms happen. I guess it was my childhood of growing up in South Florida and stories of Camille and the ’35 Florida Keys storms. Stories we were told not to scare us but to make us aware of the all true possibility that they can happen. So when I read words like “unheard of” it just makes me wonder, “is it really?” and well, it isn’t. As far as frequency, long-term weather patterns, global warming, cooling, etc. Well I am not a scientist, nor do I know much about those topics, so I don’t base my responses that way. I was just trying to say, they do happen and with that knowledge we can do what we can do prepare ourselves as best we can. There are some things we can’t fully prepare for, ever. I am sorry I said anything because it was not my intent to hurt, only to momentarily point out some history.
So glad you’re all ok. I can’t imagine how surreal it must all be. I know how weird it was for us to be just about the only people in the neighborhood during the flood, and that was for several months. It’s a hard feeling to explain, when you have a roof over your head, lights in your home, and no water in your house when all your neighbors have not been so lucky. I’ve been there, it’s definetely not a place I want to re-visit anytime soon!
A little good news for you to read?
Today is Risa’s 10th bday and she had her MRI/bloodwork done today at Children’s Hospital. She did very well with the sedation, the results will be awhile in coming though. Yesterday was her birthday party at the pizza place and she enjoyed it very much! She actually *opened* her gifts, on her own, something she’s never done before. Also, the other nite trick or treating, she did the sign for “please” and waved bye to everyone we saw!
Anyhow, take care, and keep posting pics. We’re all so glad you’re “ok” – as much as you can be, anyhow!
Happy Birthday dear Risa! Love that she opened her presents, Angie. That’s huge! And signing please and waving good bye… fantastic!
Thanks for the great news, loved reading this. 🙂
You will never be the same, nor will we. Be very kind to yourself and heal, for the world needs your voice. Find quiet moments of fleeting peace, and, yes, even joy, for there lies the food of courage for the unknown journey ahead. A soldier cannot go into battle, wringing his hands in sorrow. He must find confidence in the things that fill his heart with joy. Horror, yes, is in the air. Learn from Emma, and slip away, to your own magic place, if for a bit. Surround yourself with the love so many feel for you, so that you may feel again. Be very kind to yourself, good Ariane, and heal. ❤
Thank you Chou Chou. 💚
Nice! Happy Birthday to Marisa! 🙂
Thoughts and prayers with you and those affected by the storm.
Thank you Brenda. Really appreciate it.
when we went thru the hurricanes in 2005 I remember just feeling like I was in a daze. I would look at the water in my house, the mold growing all over our stuff and I would just feel like I wasn’t present inside of me anymore. My son was miserable and had nightmares and poor emma, unable to communicate at that time, just clung to me. my husband walked around dazed as well. Friends and family, time and structure and the actual doing of things gave me strength. I never have appreciated “things” the same way. My son certainly has scars from that time…he didn’t put pictures up in his room for a very long time. but we came thru and appreciate our “home” in a different, more fundamental way now.
Paige, how awful. I cannot imagine. We were so fortunate. We suffered no damage to our building at all. There was no flooding on our block, in fact if the power hadn’t gone out I would have thought it was a rather mild storm. It was the surge of water and the winds along the edges of the city that did such damage. We were blocked from almost all of it. That’s part of what was so surreal – to look out the window and see nothing remotely like what was being reported, it was just so bizarre. We were lucky. Very, very lucky.
I am glad you are ok and I am thinking of you ❤
Dear Amy, thank you so much. Sending you love.
Happy to see you back and I pray for those in the storms path that continue to be without and suffering……..our thoughts are with you all!
ps…Glad you had an awesome birthday Marisa! 🙂
It’s hard to come by experienced people in this particular subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks