November 3, 2012: Losing your home is like having your heart ripped out.
You feel lost, betrayed and battered. Suddenly robbed of everything familiar, you stand alone in the wasteland of what once was your life, with no anchor, no security, no space, no place to which to retreat. All you want to do is curl up in the comfort of your own bed and pretend it’s all a bad dream – a nightmare from which you will soon awaken.
But there is no bed, there is no comfort, and you are excruciatingly awake. A baby’s breath might blow you to Kingdom Come, so tenuous is your hold on this world that just a few moments ago seemed warm and safe and yours.
I know, because it’s happened to me four times in the last eight years. Not like Sandy, or Syria or starvation, not as brutally as that, but in some ways equally traumatic. Like a storm surge, waves of helplessness, hopelessness, despair and, finally, black poisonous anger flood every crack and crevice of your being until you suffocate, choke, gag, and spit it up to stop from drowning.
But even when all is lost, somewhere there lies a different tomorrow to discover, another dream to realise, new possibilities to explore. (Sometimes, amidst life’s carnage, the soul of the world even sings in a piece of bling.)
Today’s wreckage must be left behind, like so many pieces of damaged baggage, its contents scattered hither and yon. At some future time, this painful present will be ancient history. Now, in this moment, there is only one thing to do: look for that which remains standing and find in it the seeds of your renewal.