Natural Disasters

When Happiness is a Hardness. What I learned from a natural disaster | by James | Mystic Minds | Jan, 2024

What I learned from a natural disaster

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I lived in a caravan. I watched as it was picked up and floated away, as water rushed in. It then did a Titanic-style sink as one side filled with water and went down. I then watched my car follow suit.

Watching all my things sink, I sank.

In the chaos of the aftermath — the three residents on that flood-affected land living on top of each other for weeks — trying to dry floors, cupboards, furniture, clothing — traipsing all over the place finding possessions over here, over there, across the road!

The endless washing off of mud, the race against mold — and everywhere you went — rain. Wet, dirty, chaotic, messy, expensive — and the endless labour of it all.

Emotionally, I swung between devastated at loss and a glum, dryness — a clean-up robot with inflammatory periods of exasperation, but also gratitude — that I had nothing at all to try to save — as my caravan went downstream, it got stuck in some trees!

From the day it happened and through all the weeks following, I saw one thing in highlighter — the hardness of conventional happiness.

People could not sink with me.

People could not drop, what these great times show up as just really petty concerns — they could not drop them with me to be with me. In the place that we sought shelter in as the flood was happening, one woman was repeatedly concerned, actually, even some panic was in there — for condensation on her windows – from all of us wet people in there, breathing!

Death shows up everything.

And for me at that time, I was living a mini death. All I could see was superfluousness…

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I was struck by how people held onto these petty concerns with me. My mother, every time I rang her just panicked about the house sale she was going through – I couldn’t get a word in. And the only other family member never contacted me… I was sad and angry at them… and then I suspected something –

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