Monthly Archives: November 2015

Internal and External Storms

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Wind sweeps raindrops across my windows — the prelude to El Nino, as we call it in Southern California, (Spanish for baby boy): a severe weather phenomena that occurs every ten years — the result of unseasonably warm ocean water miles off the west coast of the U.S.

Well, let it rain, I say.

Once green hillsides are as dry as straw, the air filled with pollutants and electric expectations that make it hard to breathe. Cutting water consumption can only do so much.

The monster storm will not fix our drought. It will leave behind mudslides, houses crumbling off hillsides, fallen trees, flooded streets. Weeks and weeks of cleanup. But despite such biblical predictions, we need the rain. Rain makes everything better in Southern California, even if it destroys the landscape first.  

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So, why is this gigantic weather pattern called El Nino? Minutes of research and the answer is: El Nino (child, or baby boy) refers to the infant Jesus Christ and is used because the current usually begins during the Christmas season.

Interesting and creative.

Weather affects the creative mind, don’t you think?

I sometimes see it in my writing — the altered dispositions, the range of emotions — my own feelings projected upon characters as moods are brightened or darkened, lives lived under clouds, relationships turned stormy.

When the mercury rises, the character’s blood can boil internally or externally. Sun melts hearts; rain fills the fictional world with tears. All sorts of things happen while fingertips fly across the keyboard with El Nino on the horizon, the sky filled with slow-dancing clouds.

Sometimes I wonder if those beloved pieces of European literature were written during long winters and ravaging storms, perfect times for introspection. Are seasons to be credited with such masterpieces? Why not?

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Cold, literal or figurative, makes for great art via our internal barometer, producing striking works that stand outside the mapped territory of … normal. Because normal, while safe,  has no place in literature, now, does it?

~ So, tell me your thoughts, dear blogging friend. On this stormy subject or anything else.  

Images courtesy: wallpaperwild.in, www.ldeo.columbia.edu, pinterest.com

The Real Power

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I’ve been glued to the Internet for the past few days, reading everything available on the unrest in Romania. Amazed by what can be accomplished when people come together in large numbers, peacefully marching, unified behind a tragedy, demanding answers, demanding transparency. Demanding an end to corruption.

The tragedy in question was a nightclub fire on October 30th responsible for 32 deaths and counting, and hundreds in critical condition. A tragic event, but was it enough to bring tens of thousands of people in the street.

No, not on its own, of course.

inside the club

inside the club

This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. The club was not up to code (one exit, no alarms, no fire sprinkles, flammable soundproofing materials in a place not designed for pyrotechnics) because that’s how things are done when money is paid under the table.

Add to this a slow emergency response and hospitals unable to accommodate patients, add to this a prime minister who has been indicted on charges of tax evasion and money laundering, among other things (and who didn’t survive a no-confidence vote), and there is a huge problem.

So, Romanians took to the streets in every major city.

As a result the prime minister resigned — a good first step, but is it enough? My heart says no, but I’ve been gone for so long. I don’t really know how real reform would look like in Romania. However, I do remember the 1989  revolution when the Romanian people toppled a dictator.

So, people do have the power. The real power. They just forget how to use it until an unfortunate event brings them together.

Images courtesy: insideromania.com, jamaicaobserver, bbc.co.uk