I remember the day that Hurricane Juan hit Halifax. I had spent the day at the waterfront at a Word on the Street Festival. I stepped out of the festival into the parking lot and the sky had turned a kind of color that was usually saved for cheap science fiction movies. Everything felt oddly still and you could hear the word “hurricane” being bandied back and forth like some strange noun from a language that nobody ever truly spoke.
That was the thing, back then. Hurricanes were something that happened in the newspaper or the movies. They happened in Florida or the Bahamas. They didn’t happen here in Halifax.
Well, this time they did. God said “Geseundheit!” and the whole city fell down. It was wonderful the way that everyone pulled together but still I would far prefer to have skipped all of those falling trees and flooded basements and just jumped into the kumbaya of sweet cooperation.
Since then, I have learned to beware of that word “hurricane”. Even when you spell it “tropical storm”. It is still a big old wind that is getting set to blow through Halifax.
So, I was tickled to read that some artists and writers have got together to create something positive out of this whole experience.
Read about it here.
Belinda and I have spent the day watching old movies and kicking back waiting to see what Irene will bring us. We watched “The Great Buck Howard” with John Malkovitch. Never saw it before but I enjoyed it immensely. Also watched “Secondhand Lions” with Robert Duvall and Michael Caine – another solid flick. Last night we watched Jeff Bridges in True Grit. I still prefer the John Wayne version, but they both manage to hit some awfully sweet notes.
And I’ve taken the time to put down my own thoughts on Hurricane Irene.
The lawn furniture is hiding in the shed
where I padlocked it safely shut
the barbecue bungeed to the deck railing
the clothesline umbrella folded safely
beneath the dining room table legs.
I’ve picked up
as the wind picked up
and the sky gets set
to let all of her breath out
in one long sigh
Soon, the rain will fall
sheets of it beating
down upon the ground
torrents, buckets, deluge, splash
God has left the tap running all night long
Soon, the trees will bow down
power lines whirl like skipping ropes
window panes hum and walls shake and shimmy
rose blossoms learn to fly
hard green tomatoes never reaching ripe
My family and I sit and watch old movies
pass words back and forth
wondering when the power will go out
we sip on cups of hot brewed tea and whisper summer
holding our breath until the wind finishes talking.
yours in storytelling,