Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Hunker

Hurricane, here.  Well, really just a tropical storm in Richmond. Meaning we're just outside the range of Irene's full wrath, but we can still hear her rattling our windows.  She's a snake of a rattler.

And so we hunker down.  We drag our lawn furniture indoors, take down our tiki torches (why did we buy these?!), and stock up on batteries.  We pray our power keeps flowing, so that we never have to confront the disturbing prospect of no Internetz, no microwave, no milk.   We get a little stir crazy, debate a run to the store, to the coffee shop, anywhere.  Then we look outside and stay home.

It's peaceful, hunkering, but it's also, at least in this day in age, frenetic.  I imagine our grandparents holed up in snow storms, in thunder, in raging wind.  The rain would have come like chloroform, blurring the edges, smothering the senses, until the only thing you could see, could feel, was you.  Your own heartbeat, your own breath, your own body hunkered it its skin.

Now, of course, we have radar.  We have weather radio and television and twitter.  Since I woke up, I've been glued to all of these simultaneously.  I've been tracking the garish progress of the storm, the increasingly agitated twittering of weather nerds, all the preparations and perturbations taking place in our wide, wet world. 

It's an improvement, of course.  You've got more info, more facts, you are better equipped.  And, unless you happen to be the poor schmuck chosen to stand in the blinding rain clutching a microphone to your chest, you are safer.

But you are also -doubly- inundated.  Flooded with the wet weals of the storm, flooded with the surge of more, better, faster information.  It's wonderful.  It's overwhelming.  Which is why, in a minute, I think I'll close up my computer and listen to the rain.

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