Friday, January 21, 2011

Razor's Edge: January 21, 2011

Nature takes back its own. You can't keep her down, you know. Last week many people were stranded up past Sandy, Oregon - from Zig Zag, near Welches, and beyond. Lolo Pass - the major "thoroughfare" (the only way in or out) was washed out by the flooding Sandy River. Houses were lost, damaged; cars, too. The river rerouted itself and took out chunks of road, trees. I also heard about the flooding in Australia, where lives were lost, entire districts destroyed - no comparison, I know.

But this is where I live - near it; I drive by this area on a regular basis for work, for adventures. This is what happened. I'm a bit melancholy and my Literary Kitchen writing assignment this week had to do with the news. So I've been paying a little more attention - not that's not quite it; more like I've been thinking about what I see in the news more, longer time spent on the stories, noticing, reflecting, pondering.

So, while I used something else entirely for my story - another "hot topic" in the media right now - this one struck me and has stayed with me. A month ago I was noticing dandelions and "creeping charley" it's called - something like that - growing through the sidewalk, pushing it aside like soft dirt, refusing to be held back. And there were icicles growing downward through the cement of the highway underpass, and ivy around the opening and also coming through cracks, crevices, any opening, any way through.

So it's not just now - but the Sandy River flooding is one recent and still alive example that, as much as we try, nature goes on. We can hurt it, steal it, co-opt it, and use it - even deplete it - but we can't really totally erase it. And not that I think we should, but it seems that some people want to try to erase it, beat it, make it inconsequential and don't consider how we can work with nature. Or that maybe, once in a while, nature has to purge iself.

This is rambling. This could be seen as navel gazing. This could be seen as thoughts that we need to consider the natural world when we build our world, our shelters, our places for joy and self-expression. Nature was here first and she will have her way. She's willing to share, but we have to meet her part-way.

This week's Razor's Edge is coming from a place of contemplation.

Nature and humans - survival.

The first video are some scenic shots of the raging river set to music - the river beautiful in its strength and powerful in its ability to destroy. The second video is more of the area, showing the washed out road, the destroyed pass, debris - with commentary and live sounds; it's unedited.

The instructions this week are simple: watch one of the videos. Or both. With sound. Or without (there is power in the silence of just watching, too; for those unfamiliar with this area, the second one is interesting as it tells you more about what you're seeing and not seeing).

Then write. For 8 - 10 minutes. Write what you feel. What you remember. What you hope.

Just write.