Too Much Of A Blessing


Natural disasters are, thankfully, rather uncommon. They do deserve a place in our lives, because without them, we would not be forced to cope with the harsh reality – life is not meant to be free from suffering. It is also their uncommon occurrence that keeps our response to them poignant. But what if natural disasters become common in our lives? What if instead of coping with them infrequently, we get too good at coping with them? What if we learn to keep nothing that can be burned, hold nothing of much value, and keep ourselves from getting too attached to anything? We live with the sentiment: always be ready to evacuate. Evacuate from our emotions, our attachments, and our lives. We can simply begin again, and again, and again, reinventing reality endlessly.

What would I want a fire to burn away? That part of me that thinks there will always be a need to be ready for a fire. That part of me that derives no value in enduring sentiments, memorabilia, or unshakeable conceptions of what should be. That part of me that seeks revolving and continuous change so that nothing can mean too much. I cannot be overcome by a fire that burns away everything if I never have anything of value to burn, and I am never at the mercy of losing anything because I was never too attached to it anyway. This line of thinking, while it may keep me constantly prepared for a fire, also keeps me in constant avoidance of the reality that life is not meant to be running away from fires.

— Claire Nana, M.A.

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