Insurance underwriters don’t really know what to call them. But insurance companies have been around long enough that pervasive secularism still isn’t enough to change the name of the kinds of disasters that really upset the applecart.
They are “acts of God”. Fire. Flood. Famine.
Ya know, the big ones. Horsemen of the apocalypse type stuff.
In my last blog post “Here I Stand” (July 29th), I wrote about my struggle to pursue my artistic passions, my ‘inner life’ with the same ferocity that external forces were demanding my attention. The phrase ‘there aren’t enough hours in the day’ doesn’t even really cut it. When all you have is pocket change minutes left over after caring for your physical form, psychological form, and spiritual form, there isn’t much you can do. You can answer an email and pretend you have friends outside of work. You can watch a video on the internet which feeds the creativity you keep in your mental pantry (like some form of wild yeast being cultivated in the dark, not yet ripe or timely enough to be made into bread). You can try to clean the house a little.
You can’t blog.
You can’t write.
You can’t paint.
There’s not enough time or energy left to sit down and put anything outside of yourself.
In the long term, this is a bad plan, but in “Here I Stand”, I wrote about how it was okay to take a break. Life happens. Let life be life, and let it come in waves. Sometimes it’s time to write. Sometimes it’s time to work. Sometimes Christmas presents have to be purchased instead of crafted if they are to be delivered on time, that is just the tide of the years.
This is what happens when Life happens.
But what happens when it’s an Act of God?
What happens when the land around you is on fire, when you have to race through your house and grab the irreplaceable things, when you’re out on your ear and dependent on neighbors for a bed and a roof, or when you’re waiting for that insurance payout for that tiny little remaining God-fearing clause?
Simply put, you stand toe-to-toe with it and scream back “I was made in the Image! I, too, am an act of God!”
And as the fire rages or the flood waters rise, you keep on being the epidemic of love, joy, and kindness that God intended you to be. “You are an Epidemic” I said on May 17th. I suggested on July 9th in “Learning from Youth” that dreams and life are built ‘by building the dream brick by brick until it’s standing, real and concrete, in front of you’. And, by heaven, does that stand for the manner of life you have to lead when the world is burning down around you. When the bricks are acts of kindness and what’s standing at the end is all the friends and family you loved along the way.
As long as your family is safe, you have a home.
As long as you have your memories, your story isn’t lost.
As long as there are disasters in the world, we are all reminded that we were made to be just as fearsome and fantastic.
Be the kind of thing that defies the insurance underwriters. There are enough of those destroying things at the moment, and we all need things that build and create with a fury equal to those.
Build up the people around you. Build up hope and faith in their hearts. If you’ve been paying attention, than you can see how your life was building you up for this moment, preparing you to be what you needed to be. You can laugh, cry, scream, whisper, grieve, and rejoice all. They are your tools of power and force and healing.
This is me, telling you: be an epidemic, a cataclysm, a force of nature.
Be an Act of God.
It’s what you were made to do, after all.
We were evacuated from our home for 11 days on August 13th. Then, after a flare-up in the wildfire around the property, we were evacuated exactly one month later, September 13th.
We do not know when we will be allowed to return.
We do not know if/how much of our land has been destroyed by the fire.
All of the people are safe, all of the animals are safe, and all of the firefighters are safe as of the date of this blog, 9/15/2018. The photos above were taken on my phone as I documented the massive collum of smoke generated by the forest fire which was/is consuming the land where I live in Colorado as well as the beautiful golden aspen leaves which are so quintessential of my mountains. If you are interested in following the updates of the fire, check out my Instagram: @thenomadictroglodyte, where I take everything fire-related with #silvercreekfire.
I am not blind to the other disasters happening in America at the moment, either, and hope and pray that the other fires in the west are contained and the flooding and storms of the east dissipate soon.