Packing and contemplating Katrina

It's been a productive day in my house, relatively speaking. It looks more chaotic than when I began...always a sure sign that work's gettin' done. And all along, I'm thinking of the magnitude of this tragedy that happened in Louisiana and Mississippi in recent days. I can't comprehend it. And I don't know that anyone can. In light of all this, I feel a range of emotions, many of which are unproductive, and so I contemplate that as well.

It's hard not to feel guilty for going on about one's life. I'm in the middle of packing for a move, as well as some other personal challenges. In spite of the fact that I'm a freelancer and could, under different circumstances, just leave and go volunteer my time to help the victims, I'm not in a position to do so now. So I move through the house packing and sorting and labeling and listing and contemplating my own bit of chaos and feel a little numb in the realization that if I'm feeling my own sense of confusion and overwhelmedness, mine is nothing compared to that of others.

And it never is. This tragedy is one of the largest I've known in my own lifetime, but it brings with it the reminder that I'm fairly spoiled with the luxury of not having to think of such things unless they're right in front of me. I mean, how many people are dying around the world every day for untold reasons? I have strong opinions and viewpoints on spiritual and political matters and I never blog about them. And I'm not going to start today. I'll say, though, that current situations being what they are, I'm challenged to do something.

By "do something" I mean more than pack up this box of clothing to send on to others or donate money to the Red Cross. That's important, of course, but it's not enough.

So as I pack my own things and sort them and make them accessible in my storage unit that once seemed so enormous and now seems to shrink by the day, I'm committing to myself to not allow myself to slip back into my former complacency. I don't yet know what "it" is that I'll do, but I know it has to be something. And it has to inconvenience me. That seems a good benchmark. It's one thing to work something into my own schedule and routine and quite another to make time to go out of my way to "give back" in a very tangible, regular way...