Friday, March 11, 2011

My Friday ramble on earthquakes and calamity

This poor little blog is a little dusty and neglected.  Well, at least post-wise.  It's always fun to gussy it up and make it look pretty, but another story to try and find something to write about.  I don't like to blog about boring things.  Although things I may find boring are interesting to other people.  Ramble, ramble -- that's how I feel on this Friday night.  

I've been following the quake/tsunami in Japan and I find myself glued to the set. I rarely sit down and devour the news channels, but bring on a natural disaster and you can't tear me away.  Why are we drawn to the bad stuff?  There's no rhyme or reason to it.  I can tell you exactly where I was when I heard about 9/11.  I was folding towels on my living room floor.  The kids were at school, so I was able to watch the coverage all day without interruption.  It was riveting.  Going back even farther, I recall watching the war as it raged in Iraq back in the early nineties.  Bernard Shaw and all his buddies as they hunkered down, telecasting the news while shrapnel fell around them.  I'll never forget how the sky looked as the artillery streaked through it.  Mesmerizing. 

George will watch for awhile, then he grows bored of the same pictures being shown over and over again.  I could watch it twenty times over.  As I sat there this morning watching coverage with Hunter, the wave of debris broke through the bridge and just poured into nothingness.  There were people in that debris -- I just knew it.  I was more than affected by the coverage of it.  It was the humanity.  It locks you into your seat and you can't tear your eyes away.  

Natural disasters will come and go.  The L.A. earthquake was another catastrophe that held me to my chair.  Thinking back, I always found the TV specials about earthquakes like the one in San Francisco long ago so interesting.  Maybe that's why we so enjoy movies like that?  Armageddon, Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow...  

I don't think it's wrong to watch it and lament with the victims.  Or to be moved as the houses are swept away and crushed together like matchsticks.  It makes us human.  And it lets us feel compassion, because too often we forget how that feels.  Our days all run together until we are nothing but a lump trying to recover from our week.  

I'm stealing a Bible verse my friend just posted on Facebook.  God controls our world -- the good and the bad.

"When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm."  Psalm 75:3