I’ve never been in a hurricane. I have been in a tornado once, and the experience was better imagined than experienced. Yet the difference between a hurricane and a tornado would seem to appear like one between an elephant and a little puppy.
The images I’ve seen so far from the East Coast of the United States at the moment are heartbreaking: cars floating on floods, winds pushing people and properties around. When all is said and done, there would be millions of dollars in damages, and several efforts needed to repair. Homes would be lost, some people would be dead or wounded. And then the process of rebuilding will begin again.
I was in Joplin, Missouri, in June 2011 – another site of a horrible devastation. It was a tornado at that time, but the heartbreaking sights did not leave any space for such distinction. Homes, lives, and property were lost.
My thoughts and prayers are with the denizens of these affected areas. It is in times like these that the value of life and community is strongly cherished, along with agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of doing all necessary to get people back on their feet.
Stay safe, people. You’re in our thoughts.
There are two plans, each of them going to different directions, with different planning processes, and a different destination. One of the good thing about being in the midwest is the ease of accessing much of everywhere else in the country. In this case, the ktravula radar has picked up signals all around and has developed a very familiar restless feet. This time though, it could be more fun, and who knows, more challenging than the last ones.
Without further ado, here is plan A: St. Louis to Arizona (site of the Grand Canyon, and then later to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and everywhere else.) 23 and a half hours by road. Oooh.
The other option, of course, goes in the other direction, eastwards. For me it’s a less attractive option perhaps because I’ve been there more than once before. However, in this case, I am a minority. It would depend on the cooperation of fellow travellers to select a right site to go. In any case, here’s the other plan, 16 hours 32 minutes:
The “when” is uncertain, as is the “how”, “why” and “with whom”. The only thing certain is the desire, and an otherwise useless longing for new spaces .
I woke up today with an overwhelming sense of lassitude which has characterized my Thursday mornings. I have named them lethargic because they are usually the day of the week when I’m most useless to myself and to society. For the past three months, I have spent the better part of this day in bed with my earphone in my ears and a laptop on my lap. Or sometimes on the sofa flipping through the interminable channels on American television. Maybe it is from working all day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays till late in the night, but whenever I wake up on Thursday, I only think of getting back into bed. Today is one of those days, and minus a little occasional effort around the bathroom and towards the door to get delivery of ordered food, I have been indoors.
It could be the cold, the gradually reducing temperature. It could also be the change in seasons that makes sure that it is already dark by 3pm. It is mostly the fact that I don’t usually have any campus obligation on Thursdays. And to cap up the already lazy week is the fact that next week is totally work-free. Yes indeed. By this time next week, we will be celebrating the annual Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States. It is however a week-long holiday that ensures that no one goes to school or work. Everyone stays at home to eat, drink and be merry. For my apartment, it will be very lonely as my two American housemates are heading home. It will be this traveller alone in the large apartment, pondering time, paces and spaces. This is usually a time when poetry descends from its high realm of the heavens. It will definitely be a long week.
It could also be the withdrawal symptoms from the open spaces of Chicago. Truly, my Thursdays are usually lethargic, but this particular level of slowness is unprecedented and could only have resulted from my three days on Chicago’s streets. So what if I had spent a week there, or even a month? I probably would never have wanted to return here in a hurry. That city is endearing in a way that is not too pushy, yet it entices. I can’t say the same of Lagos, Nigeria where I usually always seek to escape from at the slightest opportunity. Next month will find me in Washington DC, New York (probably) and the state of Maryland. It will be a chance to compare the differences in the behaviour of big cities. Of course, thinking only of the cold, I would probably just wish that I can stay here in Edwardsville where somehow I’ve been able to adjust to the gradually lowering temperature.
I need ideas of something fun to do for one whole week, besides the Turkey-eating activities of Thursday which will take place as scheduled in the right homes of my host parents at Edwardsville.