Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Inspirations that Come from Brinksmanship

Yesterday was one of those surreal days, wanting to check the news to see if anyone has fired any missiles that we can't take back, being swamped in the daily tasks of meetings, and wondering if I should be doing any prep work in advance of a possible nuclear exchange.

But what prep work would that be exactly?  Should we start digging a hole for a fallout shelter?
Oh, wait, we're only 20 inches above sea level--we're doomed if survival means we need to go underground.
I am feeling unsafe, and I do not like this feeling.  It's been a long time since I felt worried about nuclear fallout and electromagnetic pulses.  I had gotten used to fretting about sea level rise and very hot summers and what kind of world will today's children inherit. 
I heard on NPR that some sources are upping estimates of how many warheads N. Korea has:  60.  That could do a lot of damage, even if we're nowhere near Ground Zero. 
On a plus side, geopolitical nuclear brinksmanship (and I use that gendered term on purpose) has left me with lots of inspiration for poems--one written this morning, at least 2 more in my head!  And I wrote one yesterday too.

Yesterday was the kind of day that exhausts me as an administrator.  Morning meetings with a variety of navigating of personalities to do, afternoon budget calculations--by the end of the day, my brain was quite frazzled.

Let me record my happiness that a student who was about to be withdrawn for excessive absences, a student who I had let come back to school even as I was warned about his absence history, a student I've been calling--he was in class last night. 

I went home later than I anticipated, with a head that wasn't useful for much creative work.  I decided I would sit in the sun and read one of my favorite post-nuclear apocalypse novels:  War Day by Whitley Strieber and James Kunetka.  You might think such a heavy book would be too much, but I found it oddly comforting reading. 

What will today bring?  Will we really go to war over Guam?  I am hoping that we will all do as we have done in the past:  walk back from the brink.  I am not sure that the leader of the U.S. and the leader of North Korea are actually capable of backing down.  This is not a situation that makes me rest easy.

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