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Storm Stories: The Aftermath

The aftermath of this horrendous, catastrophic storm reminds me of the days post 9-11. First there is the euphoria of mere survival—especially if we were fortunate enough to account for all our loved ones—then a stunned dream-state in which we tried to figure out what to do to help. I remember becoming active—volunteering with the Red Cross, walking miles and miles to various memorials, writing poems and reading them at memorials. Long before we were able to digest what had happened, the media informed us that we were living an historic event.

And now this storm. We are still living that history and will be for many months. Strange, that my NYU students are working on a “Witness to History” assignment this very week. That will be an extended effort, I am sure, as the term proceeds. But when will we see each other and where? The lower part of Manhattan, including the Washington Square area, has been amputated by a power outage and flooded subway tunnels leading in and out of the city. Some of my students live in Brooklyn and New Jersey. So, too, the NYU administration. When will they get back to work? When we will all get paid? What is their responsibility? What is our responsibility? The government’s responsibility—federal and local? The implications are filling my full to overflowing journal.

Nothing to do this morning but take a walk up to Sakura Park and assess the damage. I usually work there on Wednesdays with Hakim, an employee of the Riverside Park Fund, but he’s stuck out in Brooklyn.
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