I’ve been trying to maintain normalcy since August 25, but there is a lot of emotional upheaval when the town you spent 8 years in is devastated by a catastrophic storm.
My mom and brother still live in the greater Houston area, as do many of my high school classmates whose parents are still rooted in the subdivision I finished High School in.
Since the airports were closed and the surrounding infrastructure tentative, I wasn’t able to rush out and be with my family. Now I keep tabs on them daily, watch the Facebook feeds of my friends in the aftermath, and feel helpless and guilty and on edge. I was too agitated to go into the studio last week; it felt too trivial to make art when lives were in danger.
The beauty is that so much unity is coming out of this. A lot of kindness and helpfulness and an abundance of love.
With my heart heavy, I decided to get back into my commissions yesterday, and worked on a Texas angel as well. Concentrating on the wire and pieces I have been assigned to make helped settle me again. I should remember that art is therapeutic, and that it would have helped me last week as well.
This storm has marked my family and friends. The full extent of the aftermath is not yet known. Neighborhoods that made it through numerous storms have become floodzones. My family was lucky in spite of the material losses. For my friends, their kids are displaced as Kingwood High School undergoes repairs, some of their families are dealing with devastating home damage, and emotionally everyone is spent.
I am aware of raging wildfires, more water damage around the world, political craziness going on, and all the microcosmic events my friends in non-disaster areas deal with day to day. I see the cynics utilizing images and opinions to promote their divisive agendas.
But Hurricane Harvey is deeply personal, and it is OK to sit with that for a moment while the rest of the world rages on.
What gives me peace is that my firefighter brother is utilizing his skills to help his neighbors, completely in his element, as weird as that seems. I know mom will be OK, and we all still have each other.
As volatile as the world and life seems just a few weeks after my birthday, I will continue to pursue what I am called to do, which means sending more angels out in to the world as I gear up for my mid-September fairs.