Monday, March 14, 2011

Life on the Edge/Dangerous Beauty

*San Clemente, CA during the Tsunami Advisory that was issued here.
The earth seems angry, very angry.  I say the earth, but it might just as well be God, Adonai, Buddha, YHWH, Jesus Christ, or any number of the Hindu Deities.  The rage is expressed in mind-numbing rattles and surging walls of water rushing five hundred miles an hour toward panic-stricken people.  Clinging to tree branches which race by in a moment of pure instinct-motivated survival.  Praying even if for the first time in an entire life.  Gasping for air.  Grabbing for the surface.  Moving toward the light.

My heart aches in a rhythm which can only be described as that of the rolling waves which thunder below my window.  I live on the edge of what is known as the Pacific Ring of Fire.  80-90 percent of the world's earthquakes occur within this area.  This is a fact.  And as a Californian, I have lived with the knowledge of this fact since my husband and I packed up everything we owned in a Dodge cube-van, and trekked out to California twenty-six years ago next September, to begin our life together.  To plant our own roots.  To raise our own family.  To flourish.  And yet, living in an area of such natural beauty also brings with it the immanent possibility of destruction.  Living on the edge of the Pacific ocean commands respect for that which is treacherously beautiful.  Dangerously beautiful.  I have a very healthy respect for the strength and capability of nature.  I no longer go deep into the ocean, knowing that I am no longer a strong swimmer and am of no match for that which can lull me into a sense of hypnotic, false complacency.  We have an "understanding", the ocean and I.  I admit that I am no match for the things which can pull me down and eat me underneath the dark, rolling waves, and the ocean allows me to wade semi-predictably upon the shoreline, honoring its power and dangerous beauty.  Fairly simple equation, yes?  Until the ocean becomes unpredictable because of an earthquake.  Because of impending anger?  Because sometimes people do not believe it when they notice that the water is surging back, uncharacteristically, and they decide to stay anyway?

And yet, here I am living on the edge of that which is angry, beautiful and often, unpredictable.  But I will not leave.  I will not leave for many of the same reasons that the people of Japan who resided in those dangerously beautiful seaside towns did not leave.  I trust.
I trust that all of the natural wonders that were created on this Pacific Rim were placed here not to repel man, but to draw us near.  I trust that whatever statement nature, the earth, God, Krishna, etc. is making, it is not meant to make us run away, but to draw us in closer...To one another.
And so, as I sit admiring the unbridled, picturesque beauty of the Pacific ocean and its shorelines, I will focus on the trust and send a prayer for healing out into the world.  I will pray for those who live in Japan as they face this uphill struggle to piece their lives back together.  I will pray for the souls of those who were lost to this natural tragedy.  And I will pray that the world will come together to help the Japanese people remember that they are not alone.  That we are all connected, if even by oceans, in our humanity.
Because to focus on the anger would give power to that which can destroy.  But to focus on the trust, the compassion, the humanity...In that, there is always renewal.

Refuah Shlema


Angella Lister said...

beautifully said!

Mumsy, Chancy and Co. said...

Beautiful post sweet Debra and the pictures are gorgeous. We have a lot of tornadoes where I live but I do not want to leave here either. I love it here and the scenery is so pretty. Hugs my sweet friend!

jojo said...

Amen..and Blessings to all those who are suffering such a devastating hands, my heart, my prayers for them all.

Ness said...

I look to you when words fail me and once again you have not disappointed me. There is no perfect place on earth that does not have its drawbacks and to spend time living in fear, IMHO, is not living. I dream of the day I can let you show me your heaven on earth, walk your beaches, find more sea glass and soak up all the qualities that make you you, like a balm soothing my frazzled nerves. Love you, Deb, and thanks for all the things you have been sending me via FB. Have enjoyed them so much. Nameste.

tj said...

...This is beautiful Angel Deb! You have such a wonderful way with words my friend. :o)


tj said...

...Hello Miss Debra, no I'm not back at blogging per se. It's my go at having a website more than a blog. It's just a place for me to sell my handmades, pimp my Save-A-Barn-Coleslaw-Dressing that I am about to embark upon and sell some antiquish items that I need to move along. lol... :o) As well as post a few photos w/fav' quotes or poems every now and then too.

...Thank you for visiting me! You're my first comment - Yay! *applause* ;o)

...Blessings friend...

Kathleen Botsford said...

Beautifully said. Perfectly imperfect in this wonderful,chaotic and peace-filled world of ours.

LauraX said...

sweet courageous beautiful friend...may the healing continue and continue. I've been thinking of you too.

Tracy said...

Wow, that was powerful and you presented much to think about. I agree that the world is angry. We havenot taken good care of our home lately and so it has a right to be angry.
They, whoever 'they' are claim there are no more disasters than normal but the media is a gigantic factor is portraying it more, but that doesn't sit right with me and well, I just think it's rebelling. But those are my thoughts...
I also agree with the power and the strength of the ocean. I use to feel so confident going into the ocean but not as much anymore...although I never quite said it aloud!
I hope you are doing okay...everytime I get a reminder of a new posting on CaringBridges for Jack, I think of you and sending your prayers...

miruspeg said...

Inspiring post Deb!
Your final words touched me greatly:
"Because to focus on the anger would give power to that which can destroy. But to focus on the trust, the compassion, the humanity...In that, there is always renewal."

I trust and believe that we all have the power to overcome adversity if we join together and never stop dreaming of a better tomorrow.

But first and foremost we MUST respect this planet we dwell on and maybe she will be less inclined to get as angry as she has in 2011.

Peggy xxxxx

Sharon said...

Beautiful photos of your side of the world, Debbie. There is beauty, as well as inherent danger, any place we live. I was relieved to hear from my son who now lives in California that he was out of harm's way this time. My youngest is looking at grad school right on your lovely coast...and I must say that worries me, because of the distance from here but also because of the geologic conditions. He will make his decision, and I will support whatever he decides and pray for his safety wherever he goes. Blessings to you, my west coast friend ~

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