Saturday, August 15, 2015

After The Storm.

My children hold two very distinct views about storms and any kind of inclimate weather.  

At a ridiculously young age, Michael proved to enjoy having us read him history and science books, often over a colorful storybook.  He preferred to hear about things that had happened, could happen in real life.  I think it was a Modern Marvels episode, called "Nature Tech," which talked about tornados and the science behind tracking them, and things like that.  Both children started watching the history channel before they began pre-school, yet Michael would develop fascinations with things he saw on the shows, and want to know more.  Stella is terrified of storms of any kind.  She hears the word storm and she begins imagining tornados or hurricanes blowing our house to pieces, or a lightning bolt hitting us. 

So, Michael wanted to learn more about everything.  We bought him weather books, and when he got a bit older he began watching "Storm Chasers."  He knows how to categorize each level of storm by wind speed and damage, he knows which states have had the most devastating storms, and why.  He knows where there are likely to hit, and when.  He knows what causes them, and how scientists continue to learn more about how to keep people safe with ample warning, whenever possible, from a twister.  He knows each type of storm--there are different kinds of twisters:  Dust devils, waterspouts, "firenados", tornados...  and when I called to him to ask him what kinds of twisters there are, he ran in to rattle them off, and he just asked me if I needed him to list the levels of tornados too.  I told him he didn't need to at the moment, and he could go play.  If I needed more weather facts I would let him know.

Oh!  Did I jinx us?  It was just sunny and lovely, and Stella just ran in yelling, "Thunder," and Sam said, "No you didn't, it was the ladder I was moving."  Then he went outside and there was thunder and a storm came on fast.  Thunder, rain, wind.  Stella is now talking a mile a minute about how she's just a little nervous and why she's a little bit scared, and how it's kind of scary.  The thunder and rain didn't last very long.  We didn't see any lightening.  She said talking helped her through her fears, and so we talked.

Stella has always been a bit scared of any weather that wasn't especially pleasant.  She used to like to dance in the rain, but any sign of thunder or a bit of wind and she runs inside and feels it's not a safe situation we are in.  After the storm, she always says how it wasn't so bad, and she wasn't really and truly very scared, at all.  It just seems scary at the time, then she realizes afterward that it is just fine.

What about life's storms?  Have you heard of "The Cube"?  Oh, gosh, I shouldn't give it away.  I can tell you it's a psychological type of activity where you are asked to imagine certain images and how they interact with each other.  One is "the storm."  I saw the storm as dark clouds, and I saw them in the distance.  And I never knew if they were coming towards "me" or moving away.  Maybe it was always both.  

Okay, here it is, but don't look at what each thing means, until you're ready.  You can never do it again, and never have that first experience of seeing the images and explaining them to the people you are with at the time and... if you are just alone, it would be very lonely.  Don't do it alone:  

I want you to imagine a desert, stretching out as far as your eyes can see. In this desert is a cube.
Your first task is to describe the cube. What does it look like? How large is it? What is it made of? Where exactly is it?

There are no right answers here, only your answers.  Take a moment before you continue – the detail is important.

As you look at the desert and your cube, you notice there is also a ladder.  Describe the ladder, or imagine it clearly.  Think about this. What is it made of? How big is it? Where is it, in relation to the cube?

Now imagine that in the scene there is a horse.  Describe the horse. What kind of horse it it. Most importantly: where is the horse, and what is it doing? Where, if anywhere, is it going?

We’re nearly there now. In the scene before you are flowers:  Describe the flowers. How many are there? What do they look like? Where are they, in relation to the horse, cube, ladder and sand?

In the desert there is a storm. Describe the storm. What type of storm is it? Is it near, or far? What direction is it headed? How does it affect the horse, flowers, cube or ladder?

Now, don't look up "The Cube" and try to figure it all out, if you're alone.  If you find a site that explains it, it ruins your ability to play this game ever again.  If you won’t want to ruin it forever, go back now. Trust me.

Ready? There’s no going back.

I won't tell you the next part, of course.  You have to wait and not be reading a stupid blog and truly be with a person you trust.  Then look up "The Cube: The Game" online and it will tell you what it all means.

My storm was always in the distance, but not too far.  I always saw the horse was always dark, and turned away from the cube...  Sometimes tethered to something else, but just fucking standing there. The cube was always transparent, made of placid water, and inside were lots of pink and blue flowers, with two at the center.  The ladder--wood with round rungs, like you'd find in an apple orchard--always leaned against the cube, even though water, (in real life) could never hold up a wooden ladder.  My water could.  I could.  And I could hold all the flowers and keep them safe.  Sun came in, and they were never parched, and flourished.  That's what I have seen since the very first time I "played the game."  

I think I always am just ahead of the storm or just behind it, if that's possible.  The storm never settles overhead for too long, and it leaves me quickly...  maybe to come back, maybe to stay away for awhile.  Am I always so healthy, to know that I have beat it, or that I'm bracing myself for it to hit me again, or am I just stuck in place and waiting and letting it happen?  I don't know.  I do know the flowers are always safe.  I know the cube ripple in wind and spatters with rain, but it doesn't collapse or change.  It's there.  It's there.  

After the Storm 
Mumford and Sons

After The Storm I run and run as the rains come.
And I look up, I look up,on my knees and out of luck,
I look up.
Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay

But I won't rot, I won't rot
Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot.
And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall,
And remembered our own land,
What we lived for.
And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.

Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
And now I cling to what I knew
I saw exactly what was true
But oh no more.

That's why I hold,
That's why I hold with all I have.
That's why I hold.
And I won't die alone and be left there.
Well I guess I'll just go home,
Oh God knows where.
Because death is just so full and man so small.
Well I'm scared of what's behind and what's before.
And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.

Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.

Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
And after the storm...

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