two nights ago woke up around 12:45 to a phone alert and sirens outside. 3 minutes later a psycho wind train with a disco ball of electricity and hail was speeding by our house. tornado. there wasn’t any time to even know what to do if there was anything to do. this was preceded by an hour long conversation with a friend just a couple hours before who was about to leave for a three week tour and was freaked out about how to smartly deal with looming threat of coronoavirus but not live in fear.
the next day, sunshine, perfect spring day, free donuts, free coffee, people talking, people connecting, people opened up, people bonding. strangers. no typical glaze of complacency or closed-off-ness in sight, just a scene of total destruction and kindness. there’s little kids running around, there’s families talking about their experience. there’s a sense of caring and service. that night, i’m at a friends show downtown in a fancy hotel, i start talking to a guy i met one time 7 years while washing our hands in the bathroom, we’re vulnerable, we open up, we hug. it’s all good. each interaction that night was similar. grateful.
today, i’m in north nashville, in a neighborhood i didn’t even know existed, a different world to be honest. a whole new perspective than whatever bubble i’ve been living in. here i am in some unknown persons backyard, their house split in half by a tree, roof sprawled in the front yard, amongst a couple friends but mostly 60 other complete strangers from all walks collectively hauling piles of fallen trees, trash and debris from the yard. finish one and then go to the next.
out of nowhere, somebody hands me a chik-fil-a chicken sandwich. fuck it.
im having a heartfelt talk with a local pastor and some guy that lives down the street that just got off work while staring at a house who’s entire front was torn off exposing a fireplace with a picture of jesus in the mantle that was miraculously untouched in the storm. (pictured).
i’ve been forunate enough to do some really cool shit in life and see beautiful places but really none of it compared to what i saw or felt today in the bleak setting of a struggling part of town destroyed by this tornado – a true human connectedness amongst people who rarely even cross paths all engaged and collectively working for the common of goal of helping faceless people in need and having fun doing it.
there is a lot to take from this. from what happens when things knock us out of our complacency. when we get grande reminders (so many lately) of how fleeting life is, but also how fleeting everything is. we get reminded, which means our natural state has become to forget, and when we remember we live right. today everyone was living right. and it felt really good and the setting couldn’t have been worse.
these days the reminders seem endless. viruses, natural disasters, wars, politics – all super speed direct delivery to our pocket, and on top of that our own personal dramas.
but i don’t believe in accidents anymore. to me there are no coincidences. we gotta start to see the interconnectedness of all things. this is how we get shown. and we’re gonna get shown until we see it.
the air pollution above china reaches an all time low after a virus outbreak.
the silenced are being heard after a supreme example of unconsciousness takes power.
a tornado comes and destroys the most precious parts of a city where there is development happening at an insane rate.
but the next day i’m laughing, talking, working together with people that our respective bubbles would have not otherwise arranged for.
there’s good in everything.
is mother nature tired of our shit?
striking to remind us?
what if we actually return to the natural order that we’ve gotten way way way way way way far away from
what will it take?
i’m down to at least entertain that we might collectively be creating our destiny. no, i know we are.
for me this is hopeful to know – maybe if we radically change the way we live, think, eat, act, treat each other it actually might change everything.
our intentions are all fucked up. priorities too.
we think if we work hard we can create the perfect situation free from all harm but there is no better situation than being covered in dirt carrying heavy shit amongst divided people for the sake of service to fellow humans in need. thats when we’re getting it.
real love and thoughts to the people that lost life, lost family, lost things or were injured in this storm. i hope the love that’s all around now is making it all less heavy for you.