70º and Sunny by Charlie Grosso

 Hurricane Sandy.

There is an estimated 20 Billion dollars in damages and a current death toll (American lives mind you, I never understand why is an American life always worth more) of 62. As United Airlines started to preemptively cancel flights in anticipation of the super storm, I bump up my flight and got out of NYC before Sandy made landfall.

Sunny Los Angeles, 70ºF  and glorious, my old stomping ground. I am in town for an opening for Wok The Dog but as I go about my days here in preparation for the exhibit (opening Nov 4th, come out if you are in town), I feel a twinge of guilt.

New York has become my city, my city of choice. Part of the city is without power, the subways are underwater and NPR makes it sound grim. I wish I could do something….something to be of service, something to help my friends and colleagues but there is nothing I can do….With that, I work. I live and focus on what is within my control.

I drive around LA, moving forward, crossing things off the to do list and the thought “life goes on” keeps on coming back to me as a means of comfort. Sure, very few people are dying; most of them are just severally uncomfortable and inconvenience. NYC will bounce back; all will be well in no time. But I extrapolate the damages from Hurricane Sandy out, the sense of just go about our days as if all is well…and I think about the big picture. My city is in distress and yet I am carrying on, as are my friends in LA and elsewhere in the world. It seems sensible, logical. In equal measures, I am in awe of humanity’s ability to heal itself and its ability to ignore.

Right Now, there are 44 military conflicts and insurgencies world wide, including the Colombian civil war has been ongoing since 1964.

10,011,878 hectares will suffer desertification this year (which hugely impact the environment and weather patterns).

17,891 People died of hunger today.

805,952,983 People are without safe drinking water source.

6,341,312 Children under 5 this year died.

People are dying. Children go to bed hungry. Brothers are killing brothers. Awful things are happening everyday around the world and yet we go on. Not just America, but everyone who is not directly affected by the crime, the hurt, the death, the lack of. The numbers become overwhelming, you return to the feeling of  “there is nothing I can do” so you continue on with your day, caring for your child, ticking things off your TO DO list and not think too hard about everyone else’s plight across the world.

I am uncomfortable with it.

I am uncomfortable with our ability to ignore.

I am in awe of our ability to carry on.

I know life goes on but maybe it shouldn’t when awful things are happening right now.

I am without answers.

I am uncomfortable with it.

 

 

 

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