Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ides of September

Hello from the world of hurricane watch.  Down in South Florida, we are completely out of the cone of possibility, and mostly out of danger (I won't be surprised if we get a bit of rough surf and beach erosion), although some part of me still says, "Stay alert, just in case." I understand why I blink wide awake at 1 or 2 a.m. when a storm is actually threatening me, but this week, I've had that same sleep pattern, long after it's clear that I really have no reason to be afraid. Of course, I love the Carolina coastline, so maybe that's why I'm waking up early and zipping back and forth to weather sites. I feel like I'm part of some NATO like weather treaty amongst coastal communities--a threat to one is a threat to all.

Or maybe it's something more prurient--potential disaster porn, if you will. My inner Apocalypse Gal loves a good natural disaster.

My inner cynic sneers, "Sure, as long as that natural disaster isn't heading your way."

I still remember my sheer terror at moments during the past two hurricane seasons when it seemed that we might get a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and when Hurricane Irma was forecast to be at least a category 5 coming ashore in Miami.  I was literally scared for my life--and there was no way to get out of the way that didn't seem fraught with peril.  Life on a the tip of a long peninsula does have some disadvantages.

At least the Carolina coastline residents can get out of the path fairly easily--at least the path of most immediate destruction.  I realize that the possibility of days of heavy rain poses a different threat.  It will be strange to be down here, far from my friends who are waking up to a very different Tuesday this week than last Tuesday.

My Tuesday will be fairly normal, although with more hurricane monitoring than is usual (although it's starting to seem the norm for September).  I am aware that not only are we at various hurricane anniversaries, but also at a major terrorism anniversary.  It's also the anniversary of the 1973 coup that led to so much terror and bloodshed in Chile. And many historians mark the month of September as the beginning of World War II, with Hitler's invasion of Poland.

Once I wrote a poem called "The Ides of September."  I don't like the whole poem--or perhaps, what I want is a poem series.  I do love the first line.

Here it is; you can amuse yourselves by writing alternatives:

Ides of September

I invite Henry Kissinger to tea.

He offers to bring something,
but I am a Southern girl.
I believe in old-fashioned hospitality,
which means I create the whole extravaganza
myself; plus I would hate for Henry
to think I believed in socialist
ideas, like sharing.
That way bloodshed lies.

No, we will have a civilized Saturday 
afternoon. No discussion of war crimes
or coups or atrocities
of any kind.
Unlike many of Henry’s associates,
I do not believe in social
occasions that turn into assassinations.

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