Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Today, Pausing

with 6 comments

Today, we have all the ingredients for taking a pause from the multitude of news and projects facing us with relentless regularity: A Sunday; gray skies; soggy grounds; workshop aftermath; no plans.

I caught a moment of television news coverage reporting the latest synopsis of Hurricane Harvey this morning and was struck by the different perspective it presented from the minute-by-minute reality of what it must be like “on the ground,” so to speak.

They wrapped it up in such a neat little package of a few minutes, and then moved on with their regular scheduled broadcast.

It felt like, “Yeah, it is bad, but… whatever.”

Meanwhile, I’m wondering, if the municipalities are inundated with emergency response requests, the power is out, the water continues to rise, tornadoes repeatedly threaten, boil water orders are in place, toilets are becoming useless, and catastrophic amounts of rainfall will continue for days… how are people going to cope?

It doesn’t wrap up nicely in a breaking news update.

Reading a portion of 911 calls with one after another requests for rescue from families with infants and elders trapped by rising water gives just a tiny sense of the immediate emotions involved as the drama continues to play out.

This can’t be conveyed in the short news briefing that so quickly ends to be followed by the next inconsequential distraction.

I don’t mean to imply that I fault the updates. On the contrary, the updates are valuable for what they can provide. I am just boggling over the canyon of differing perspective I notice from them.

Just as I am boggling over the Sunday calm settling over us today, with no pressing demands forcing our decisions, in juxtaposition to what is simultaneously going on in the Houston area.

If I end up puttering with the silt fence by our swamped soil runoff spot today, I will be certainly be thinking about how our predicament here compares with what is going on in Texas.

It definitely gives pause.

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Written by johnwhays

August 27, 2017 at 9:45 am

6 Responses

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  1. Nice reflection John. It is a big pause for us to think what they are going through

    Jill Holte Weldin

    August 27, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    • Thank you. I have been lucky to hear good stories today from people we know in Houston, who are thus far not flooded, and able to lend help and take in others less fortunate. It helps keep the thoughts from being too fraught with angst!

      johnwhays

      August 27, 2017 at 11:03 pm

  2. I checked in my cousin who lives in Houston today. She seems to be ok which is a great relief

    Manuela

    August 27, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    • Good that you were able to reach her. Imagine being in the middle of all that and not having anyone check on you. Thanks for sharing the news of relief!

      johnwhays

      August 27, 2017 at 11:00 pm

  3. Thanks, John, for such a needed lesson…. We need to pay attention! Many things are calling for our attention! Things are not going to change much (and they surely need to) unless we pay more attention.

    Mary Holm

    August 27, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    • Thank you for commenting, Mary!
      We can change the world with each genuine interaction we have with others. Paying attention certainly helps allow us to do that, doesn’t it?!

      johnwhays

      August 27, 2017 at 4:29 pm


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