Through all the chaos of this last week, the best gift ever has been being able to get online and just talk and listen to other people, to not feel alone in all this. May that never wash away with the tide.
Folks, this has been a trying week. All those scenes you keep seeing on tv all this week broadcast from the Jersey shore? That’s where I’m from.
This is the town I work in. This is the oldest home in town, was the oldest home, correction. Photo credit: nj.com
My pubescent playground has been turned into a militarized war zone of broken windows, exposed joist beams, twisted metal circus rides all mixed rather vigorously with more sand than you’ve ever seen in your life. Crossing guards have been replaced with National Guardsmen with weapons blocking entrance into whole towns.
This was the roller coaster on the Seaside boardwalk, which is now in the ocean. photo credit: LA Times
I’m still coming to terms with it all, with Sandy.
A house in Bay Head crashed into the sand. Photo credit: nj.com
Sandy? Seriously? You couldn’t have picked a more apropos name if you suddenly had x-ray vision and could see into the future of the New Jersey coastline, my hometown, my first love.
A house in the town I work in, or at least stairs that lead up to what was a home. Photo credit: nj.com
What remains in Her aftermath is akin to a post-apocolyptic nightmare replete with enough hints of reality to distinguish it as such.
A house in the devastated town I work in. This one looks like it folded like a house made of cards. Photo credit: nj.com
Yet, nothing can prepare you to truly understand the devastation.
A scene from Mantoloking, NJ. The water from the beach has fused with the bay and enveloped the bridge (left side of the frame). photo credit: New Jersey National Guard via Scott Anema
Everything that I knew from my childhood is but a figment of my imagination.
Water from the bayshore rushed into the streets taking all the sand with it and depositing it everywhere it shouldn’t be and quite a distance from the water’s true edge. Photo credit: nj.com
And nothing is more of a universal divider than a natural disaster. The best and worst are squeezed out of people. The sheer acts of bravery, dedication to public service, and just overall humanitarianism have been as equally prevalent as the looting and thievery (only the lowest common denominator would take the ashes of a dead man just to posses the pretty container he’s been relegated to).
I want to see good prevail here. You can be a part of that. If you could see it in your heart to not buy that one luxury item this week and just donate $10 to the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, or some other great local cause, I would personally appreciate it.
I just got internet back yesterday and I’m working on some other ways I can offer more incentive for you to open your wallets and your hearts. This? Is my Katrina. And I need your help. PLEASE.