Are we on the other side of this?
Hmmm.. Not sure, but what I do know is that I’ve been standing in the middle of it and trying to do my best to pay attention, ‘cause fo’sho there is a point – OK there will be many points. The only problem is that the water has receded and yet we’ve all felt as if we are still just below the waters surface, hearing everything from the bottom of the Piney River – garbled conversations, while focusing on breathing through the snorkel.
A few blogs back I wrote about “THE SITUATION” and I’ve been thinking just what “THE SITUATION” was really about – I think it was to tell me to stand up and take care of what I believe in, to express myself with directness – which is true integrity. Everything is a set up for the next and the next for us was delivered wrapped in rain.
Living with Lee is an interesting dynamic, his father was from another time and Lee was raised on Ranches and farms, he was taught to do things with his hands, to understand the soil, rain and climate. At the same time his father would be over 100 years old if he were alive (he was 50 years old when Lee was born) – his world was about NOBILITY and personal responsibility. He raised his son to be a gentleman and a cowboy – having money didn’t mean not working hard. Lee says that most folks have lost relationship with the basics of how to take care of themselves, when Katrina spanked the gulf coast, the average person didn’t have a clue how to rebuild, fend for food- let alone build fires. I too KNOW this is true as most people don’t have a clue on how to cook with out opening a box, jar or bag. We all learned a lesson via this tragedy – the government isn’t going to come in and save us.
Here in Nashville it’s the same story – we were all amazed at how little news coverage was given to this SITUATION, after all there has not been this much damage done to this city since the Civil War, there has not been a flood as great in at least 500 years. A friend of mine phoned from Mexico City to check on us, she was certain that all was well and that we were being taken care of – she had flown to Seattle to assist with the Haitian Aid that was being sent down to Haiti just a few months ago. I told her we’d not seen national guard, FEMA and that one TIDE laundry center had been set up for the entire city – their deal is that they DO NOT wash any blankets and only two loads a laundry a day. Has anyone ever seen what happens to clothes after a flood? Cuddling up with moldy blankets ain’t cute.
The real kicker is listening to all the FEMA talk, that they’ve given out all this cash – well Hickman County Officials (where our ranch is located) have had to go to 3 banks in search of county loans – they’ve been told that POSSIBLY the government will reimburse part of the loans if they get them. There are 33 roads out in Hickman County the schools were underwater, and tons of folks are living in TENTS – NONE of this has been on the news.
We’ve been denied FEMA – they said that our “double wide” could be saved – Lee pointed out that it was off the foundation and rotten – the guy said well if it’s got a “ruff” on it and walls it’s good – Lee then pointed out that “trailer walls can’t be pulled out and sheet rocked!” Ha,ha….It’s all good, our farm house that we have been working on was spared, and Lee McCormick is a man who isn’t afraid of hard work and he KNOWS how to do things – only problem is finding people to work. We were blessed by the few folks that showed up to help with clean up, but the truth is most folks in this country don’t want to get their hands dirty with someone else’s mess – add in the fact that the Ranch is 50 miles from town and there goes the volunteers.
So here I am looking at the facts of life, comparing it to the 3rd world countries I’ve lived in where they still have local economies, when a hurricane or earthquake hit, EVERYONE donates and people find a way to rebuild. Knowing this we are adopting a 3rd world approach; we’ve started with two buildings and Jerry Peele came last week to help build fences, he worked like an old school ranch hand 14 hours a day. The real gift is that he “showed up” he brought with him a message “You all are not alone”. This is the real deal fo’sho – after all we do live in a democratic government – meaning “RULED BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE”; something has gone terribly wrong and we now see the government as something outside of ourselves and yet we don’t want to pay taxes to support this government. European folks pay WAY more in taxes and that’s why they have wonderful programs – childcare, medical, education etc. I was listening to NPR this morning and the focus was Detroit – there are no longer law enforcement to patrol most neighborhoods or cleaning agencies to handle the maintenance of these neighborhoods – what has happened is that groups of residents are now patrolling the streets; taking back their city.
Our world is changing – the end of cheap oil is creeping closer and climate effects of global warming are real, this is not the last devastating storm or natural disaster to hit the US, however what I’ve learned from Tennessee and it’s people is that you get up and do it yourself and if you have an extra hand, you help your neighbor.
After spending an afternoon on Jane Ellen’s farm, I am seeing life with new eyes; you see she’s got 4 kids 6, 7, 13 and 15 – beautiful kids and they are also capable and intelligent. Her kids assist in the running of the household the 13 year old runs the kitchen – cooking and cleaning, the 15 year old daughter oversees the farm – horses, pigs etc., the 7 year old is in charge of the goats (they raise them) and the 6 year old tends to the chickens. The amazing deal is that all the animals on this farm live together in harmony with the humans – they are one family serious calmness! Her girls aren’t snappy, saucy or rude, they aren’t afraid of hard work – as her 15 year old Sam showed up everyday at our Ranch during the immediate flood recovery efforts and worked like a man – I must mention she is also involved in pageants – she’s beautiful! If the world were to collapse these are the types of people that we will all flock towards. I’m so excited to have this family in my life, to teach me what I don’t KNOW and to mirror for my girls a perspective that has been lost.
Iva Peele rolled into town too, but she was here for me, as I sat with her I began to unravel what I’d learned – and this is a big one folks – in my previous blog I shared the times that I had lost my “life” the first time when my parents divorced – I had no clue if I would be OK ‘cause I was only 5 and my life’s reference was too short, in fact this affected my childhood as I wondered if I would make it? When my momma died, again, I wasn’t sure if I’d be OK and this affected my young adult hood, by the time I ended my relationship with Kapara, I knew I would rebuild – I’d taken the family relationships I’d made and now I had something to compare and dream of – still I was uncertain. Last week I could no longer head out to the ranch – the mold had moved from what was the kitchen floor and into my chest. Instead I got up, got my gear on and came to the convent. As I sat down to work on my projects I looked up and saw my reflection in the computer monitor – I was still me. What this loss has taught me is that I’ve not lost Mee, I am Mee Tracy and no matter what I’m solid and I’ve got it all inside. Suddenly all of the grief and anger went away – I felt calmness like I’d not felt before – you see after so much loss there is always the fear of what if it happens again? Now I KNOW it WILL happen again, I will loose many, many, many times over before I’m done – the one thing I will never loose is Mee and the recollection of this life time lives inside of my heart, not my mind.
So you see, the reincarnation is going down and once again the re-build is on, gaining a new perspective to view the deal. In Princess Know It All form, the opportunity for nobility is in my choice in who I will once again become….