Putting Things In Perspective

Yesterday I decided to take a walk around my neighborhood for the first time since Sandy hit.  I had seen all the reports on the news about other neighborhoods and the terrible damage out there, but I had yet to really explore what lied just beyond my own front yard.  These pictures are from my walk and only capture some of the strange variety of scenes I encountered in Bensonhurst Brooklyn.

There are still some signs of destruction; from fallen trees & branches to broken storefront signs & closed down gas stations.  There were police officers patrolling certain areas and the destruction only got worse when I reached the bike bath that runs along the bay.  It was a reminder for me of the true power of water and just how destructive it can be.  My heart went out to all those who suffered worse than I did through the storm, whose homes were lost or terribly damaged and to those who lost loved ones.

In truth, all things considered I was fairly lucky and my walk reminded me of that.  I was fortunate enough to have power over the past few days.  I’m not writing now to complain about any of the damages; I’m more inspired by a different part of my walk.  Throughout my neighborhood, there were a lot of people out and about.  Even where there were large branches on the ground they were moved and piled to the side.  A lot of those branches were purposely cut down, for fear of falling and causing more damage, and wherever I didn’t see a broken sign or fallen branch, things looked pretty normal.  People were moving, people were doing, people were living and that’s what really inspired me; New York City’s resilience.

Sandy caused a tremendous amount of tragedy that was way beyond anyone’s control and even though there is still a lot of work to be done, New Yorkers have already started cleaning up and bouncing back with a resilience that can only be found here.  There were even kids playing outside while I was walking around, they were being kept away form any danger zone of course, but they were happy to be playing.  Its just another testament to how we are not going to let this destruction stop our lives completely.

Now, if we can show this kind of resilience to hardships we can’t control, don’t you think we should be able to apply that same resilience to hardships we can?

Its not uncommon to have a difficult relationship with a loved one, in fact I’m sure you are familiar with them, as we talk about those relationships all the time here at Kirschenbaum Productions.  On a normal day, arguments with said person could FEEL like a destructive hurricane, but then you actually SEE one.  Those arguments I’m sure were no more than a mild rain.

I always try to live my life by looking on the bright side, so I will share with you all one last story.  Over the past several months, my Grandmother, who lives in the walk-in apartment below our house, has been having problems with her memory.  The cycle has come full circle, and while it may sound bad to say, my siblings and I, along with my dad, have become her babysitters of sorts.  This shouldn’t be a problem, as of course she babysat me for years while I was young, but anyone who has experienced having to care for someone who is losing their memory knows how frustrating it can get.  It is a skill that improves with age and maturity and for my sister, who is 7 years my junior, helping our grandma has been particularly frustrating.  On the night of the storm, our grandma was getting pretty antsy and it fell to us to keep her calm and entertained.

We decided to play cards and what started out as a frustrating evening turned into a card game that lasted well through dinner and almost until midnight, and we all had a lot of fun.  Our grandma loves playing cards, and so keeping her active had jogged her memory and she was in a better mood that lasted this whole week.   We’ve all have been a lot happier and easy going as well and when anything that use to get under our skin pops up, no one seems that bothered anymore.

My hope, at the very least, is that this storm helped people put things back into perspective.  Arguments and situations that may have felt huge or irritating or just bothered us to know end, have exposed themselves for how insignificant they really are.  In times like these, we need to stand by our loved ones for support and know that we can get through these hard times we can’t control.  The beauty of a difficult situation with another person, is that we can control it.  We do have the power to make it go away.  Sometimes it takes a lot of forgiveness and letting go, and other times all you need is a few hours forced together in the same room, but all of those situations are fixable and don’t need to have the same devastating effects as a hurricane.

So our hearts go out to all of those who truly suffered from the destruction of Sandy.  Although we cant control what had happened because of the storm, we can stand together, fix what we can & move forward.

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