A Tragic thing happened and then a life affirming, wonderful thing is happening. Over Memorial Day weekend here in Texas a much needed, but not in the quantity and rapidity, rain event occurred. Creeks and rivers were very quickly inundated, many rose above all recorded flood stages and something we desperately needed, tragically, destroyed property and lives.
The rebuilding and clean-up is already underway. It is so uplifting, attitudinally regenerative and inspirational watching folks show-up in droves to support and help their neighbors, friends and total strangers. The world has seen Texas and Texans recently in a very negative light and most of it has been well deserved. However, Texans are a very generous, open and giving people by nature. The simplistic, short answer as to why tales of idiocy and lunacy have been bubbling out of the state recently is that a few freaks and charismatic looneytunes have been able to play upon the lesser angels of a disgruntled populace. In uncertain, discombobulating times like these demagogues, charlatans, snake oil salesmen and pimps float to the surface, like costumed, grinning turds and have their way with a vulnerable, floundering citizenry.
The wonderful thing that is happening now is all the help, love and support that is bolting out of every corner of this place. We have a photography gallery in Johnson City which is within a few miles of the harder hit areas of Blanco and Wimberley. Homes were swept away and lives lost. Folks all around us are putting their commitments aside and heading to Wimberley or Blanco to lend a hand in the clean-up. And those that can't physically help are opening their wallets, donating money to benefit the cause. Politics, ideologies and prejudices have, for the time being, fallen away.
A photographer acquaintance of ours, who makes her living from her art, lost almost everything in the flood. We decided to help her out by creating a way for folks connected to or touched by our gallery to contribute. We put the word out this morning and the response has been immediate, large and emotionally overwhelming. As Bruce Cockburn sang, we are experiencing "the best of what we are."
This got me to thinking about how crises can bring people together and expose and nourish our better angels. This country is in a crises. The devastating flood is ongoing. Much is being wiped out and washed away. What if folks got behind Bernie Sanders or ? like individuals are getting behind helping out here in Texas? What if serious energy was expended on being for something. I am personally experiencing the power of this right now and it is Amazing.