This new hurricane, Rita, is bearing into the Gulf, with a likely weekend spiral into south Texas. In addition to the problems if it veers north too soon, hitting Louisiana or Mississippi, we have the concern that Galveston Island is not built for Category 4 storms. Galveston was already obliterated once in its history, and thus a storm is a real event there. A lot of things can happen between now and this weekend, including the storm weakening,the storm blowing out into the Gulf and then dissipating, and various other permutations.
But our southern coast is girding up.
Here in Allen, we are nearly five hours away from Houston, and nearly six from Galveston, although one can,through speeding, pare that time down. Yet our local Dallas station reported, accurately, that if the storm hits Houston, then its path would cross right up to Dallas.
The weather people omitted, of course,that virtually every time this has happened, the effect for Dallas has actually been in the main beneficial, albeit with some tornado risk. This is because September storms help bring the cool weather we need here to transition from our current EZ Bake ovenesque life to our wonderful Autumn weather. Thus, Hurricane Rita or any hurricane is unlikely to make anything but ordinary positive "rain in a dry season" difference to north Texas, other than, perhaps, the potential for evacuees.
Yet, the "path of the hurricane may lead through Dallas". It reminds me of the citizens of Texarkana, Texas. They have an ammo dump called Red River there. When 9/11 came, they were certain that their dump was the next prime terrorist target. Rather than choosing, say, the Statue of Liberty or the National Cathedral or LAX airport, they were certain that Al Queda spent late nights plotting how to take out that rural munitions lot. Why not, after all? It's easier to build a fire with kindling.
It's so natural and human, for we story-telling animals to do this. I know I read a story of romantic discord on LJ, and I am taken back to my single days, and the problems that attended dating. A fellow describes hunting a job, and I am instantly taken back to the uncertainty just prior to the time I began my own business. Someone talks of a death, and it's so tempting to mention deaths close to me--although, with practice, I have learned that people do not want disease and death sagas, editorials or rhymed poems about how angels tinkle little bells to light the soul to grace from Hell. All you can say is "I'm sorry". The tale is told.
A few NY area LJ friends reported in the comments a while back how after 9/11, people came out the woodwork to call and say "you OK?", only to disappear and not call again. I myself wrote a post about Al, my postal chess playing New Orleans friend, from decades ago. It's this feeling of wanting to "own" piece of a tragedy that makes giving money seem so impersonal--it would be so much more soothing in terms of story to give, say, a quilt. Not just any quilt--but a quilt with a story, a wedding ring quilt from a farm family, in which the bride grew old and wise, but the groom didn't, for elaborate reasons involving the Ardennes Forest. One could wrap up in such a quilt, and own bugles sounding reveille, and the shock of losing a loved one in 1917. But it's money, and not gifts which conjure romantic separations, at a cost of extra hassle to distribute, that builds houses and buys food.
I hope the storm doesn't hit anyone. If it does make land, I hope it does no real damage. But I also hope that if it does hit, I watch the tragedy and take it only as my tragedy to the extent such things belong to us all. I want to not hunt the specific reason why I should be cut in on the story belonging to someone else. If I am to have a role in the story, it should not be in "making it my own" in terms of living as if the storm hit me, but instead "making it my own" in terms of looking to be part of the solution.