When Life Falls Apart

broken stairway

Those of you who have followed along here with me, and who have read faithfully all along about the various life experiences which took place throughout my accumulation of years so far, know that there has a been a fair amount of diversity in the character and quality of those experiences, and hopefully everyone who visits gets some overall sense of the person who writes all these posts. I’m happy to say that the majority of responses from all of those who chose to respond have been thoughtful, thought-provoking, mostly supportive, and intriguing in many cases. Many of those who visited have inspired me to write more thoughtfully myself, and quite a few of them have blogs here at WordPress.com which inspire and stir the spirit with their own contributions.

Recent events in my life have kept me from participating as frequently as I would otherwise have wished, but today I finally sat down at my desk, determined to share a post which gives back a little of what I have received from my participation here. It is not specifically about consciousness as many of my posts have been, but the connection to the spirit and to my humanity, which are essential component parts of that subject, unavoidably cross over into our broader understanding of the process of sharing ourselves in this way, and I hope you can see the connection without my having to express it in those terms.

work collapse

On the very day of my last most recent post, June 30th, I received a call from a friend at work, who described to me a circumstance that seemed unreal at first, but which became real as I viewed the photo above. We have experienced a series of storms this summer unlike any we could recall within recent memory. Torrential downpours and high winds have battered our shores here on the East Coast just about every week for months. Each time the severity of the storm seemed to be even worse than the last, but there was never any hint that it might be more than just what might be expected for a particularly stormy summer season. On June 30th, it became far worse than anyone expected. The story of this storm will probably be told over and over in the years to come, not because it was an epic downpour, or because it was the worst ever recorded, but because of the miracle which prevented anyone from being injured or killed by the devastation it caused.

work collapse2

Thankfully, there was only a handful of people in the building at the time, which on a normal day would have been a dozen or more, but one of those people in the building had been in the front section of the building less than a minute before the water overwhelmed the structure of the roof, and narrowly escaped the collapse of a large portion of the front of the building. Security cameras in the hallway captured not just the collapse, but also the surge through the building of the tons of water which had accumulated as a result of the deluge. The thought of what could have happened shook us all when we heard of the collapse, and the images hardly portray the feeling of standing next to what used to be a familiar place for us all.

building fall

Very soon after the evaluation of the damage took place, it was apparent that our ability to function normally at work was severely compromised, but more than that, we realized that it wasn’t going to be an easy fix, and it was going to take time. What happened next was equally surprising. Everyone began right away to bring whatever we could to the task of getting the facility up and running once again. The crew on duty at the time, and the ones that immediately followed, began the difficult task of removing the water which had spread throughout the connecting sections of the building, and blocking off the doorways that led to the collapsed portion of the building. Astonishingly, after a tremendous effort by the staff and crews, the processing of products in the facility was only down for one full 12-hour shift, and the computer systems and basic functionality of the business were restored within 48 hours. No one was injured, and even though it was a shock to the system for everyone, the most challenging part of it all has been coming up with a work-around for each of the no longer normal routines to which we had become accustomed.

Reflecting on these events, and facing the challenges they presented, has provided us all with a perspective that clearly was unanticipated, and which likely would not have come in another way. My own circumstances in recent months have also been challenging in ways not anticipated, but as always, reflection on what could have been continues to affect my outlook as the days progress, and I hope to resume sharing my writing and hopefully inspire you all to visit and share your thoughts with me as well.

8 thoughts on “When Life Falls Apart

    1. Patrice,

      Thank you so much for your visit and for your kind words. I have always worked at being thoughtful in my writing, and have tried to keep in mind that others can be influenced by a thoughtfully written passage, and your comment seems to indicate that I have had some success in this regard. It is my view that there are not enough people who are enthusiastic about thinking critically or even just consistently applying their cognitive skills to the task. I’m not completely sure what the solution is to encouraging more people to be more thoughtful in their thinking, but if my post made you think, than perhaps I am on to something. I hope you are right.

      You are very welcome here, and I hope you will feel inspired to share your thoughts often, as time progresses….with affection….John

  1. Not a direct comparison, but when I lived on LI and worked in the printing industry, we would often gear up for hurricane season, in which we all prepared to work to keep the presses rolling, no matter what happened. There was a spirit to our dedication that brought us together and inspired us to go above and beyond the 8 hour call of duty. I loved that feeling, and can remember showing up for work in spite of approaching hurricanes, just for the comeraderie and the resolve to be part of making it work, no matter what it took. We’d lose power and the back up system would kick on, and we’d be thrilled to somehow keep the work going. There was a thrill from being part of those who would stay there, not because we really thought the work must be done, but that the human spirit would endure if we stuck together.

    1. Debra,

      Thanks for your comment! It has been a bit of a trial all told with this storm, and while some pretty good things have come about as a result, it didn’t have any of the flavor of your experiences really. I completely get that your situation with the hurricane response was unique in its ability to be thrilling, but I wonder about the wisdom of such a strategy as a rule. So long as no one is injured it sounds okay.

      The element that struck me as synchronous was the camaraderie part, which brought us all together in both situations. The necessity to innovate, adapt, and overcome, was a potent force in my circumstance, and I am hoping to expand on my original post in the days and weeks to come. Your thoughtful comment was most welcome.

      Warm regards…..John H.

      1. Agreed as far as the risks of working during powerful storms. Youthful folly? Sometimes the risky things we do bring us value and teach us something, but when disaster strikes, there can be nothing left but regret. How to strike that balance? I’m not sure, but I try to be compassionate towards those who are felled by risking too much.

      2. I know that without being able and willing to take risks, many of the finest moments of innovation or the transitions of beneficial changes would never have taken place. Knowing when risk is good and when it is folly is a problem that humans have faced repeatedly throughout history. We don’t always get it right, but the movers and the shakers in our world–the ones who TAKE the risks–are the modern day explorers. We can’t always know what the outcome of risk will be, but being compassionate to those risk-takers is a noble idea.

  2. it’s good to see you or I should say hear you…John…
    in all destruction comes new creation, sometimes hard to see
    whether mental, physical or even being witness to Gaia’s force…
    when the storm winds calm within/without…the rebuilding begins….
    Hope you had a wonderful weekend….
    Take Care…You Matter….

    1. maryrose,

      I’m glad that you mentioned the idea of destruction leading to new creation. It is a difficult concept for many to grasp when the destruction is personal or when it affects their lives directly. It is absolutely true that, like the story of the rise of the Phoenix, from the ashes of destruction, we often see new life and new horizons to pursue. It’s not automatic that this idea is embraced universally in all situations, and I hope to expand on this post shortly to address the fullness of the concept of how it is often possible to envision a new way, a better way, ONLY when there is loss or destruction. Sometimes, change is inevitable. Sometimes, it is thrust upon us. Sometimes, it forces us to create a completely new way of looking at our lives, and is beneficial. Finding the path through the changes we face in life is not always simple or without sacrificing our cherished notions of how life should unfold. How we can arrive downstream from radical or unexpected change or loss is a question that we all must eventually answer in our lives, one way or another.

      Thank you so much for your supportive and caring response……John H.

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