16 beaches are closed in the Bay area. I am surprised to hear this "event" described as a "natural disaster." It is a disaster for nature, but certainly it is a disaster caused by man, and yes, we, humans, are also part of nature. Still, I would hardly describe an oil spill caused when a ship hits a bridge as a natural disaster. Perhaps it is a way to protect the insurance companies, but, again, I hardly see where this fits into the "act of God" category, unless the captain heard a voice who somehow in looking down, confused port and starboard, fore and aft.
I am reading a lovely book called Listening Is an Act of Love. You may be familiar with the StoryCorps Project. Somehow I had missed it. David Isay founded StoryCorps, the largest oral history project in the history of the U.S. Facilitators were trained, and people gathered together to share a story of their life. Here are some of the questions answered in the most touching of ways.
What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
Who was the most important person in your life?
Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did this person teach you?
Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
What are the most important lessons you've learned?
What is your earliest memory?
What is your favorite memory of me?
What are you proudest of in your life?
What knowledge would you like to pass on?
What does your future hold?
What would you like to ask.
You can check it out at: http://www.storycorps.net/
One story that surprised me was the woman who said that her fifth chemotherapy treatment was the happiest and worst day of her life. She had just thrown up on her husband and he said something that made her laugh and looked at her with such love that "It was like a light shining on me. I felt like I was looking into the sun."
I had lunch with a friend yesterday and she asked me if I would talk to her friend who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctors are recommending chemotherapy and she says she will not do it. She does not want to lose her hair. I assured my friend I would be happy to talk to her friend and reassure her that it is not bad at all, but, then, this morning, when I read the words of this woman, Shasti O'Leary-Soudant, I remembered my last chemo treatment, and how I cried when I was given my diploma and how I hugged each one of my nurses. I had not realized what it meant to me, had not allowed myself to feel the horror and terror of it. I was held in check until it was over.
I think that day might fall into my happy/worst category, and it shows me how many of us put a "happy face" on what occurs in our lives. I made it through, and I often say to myself that it was no big deal. I deserve no Alleluia's, and yet, I realize today it was tough, and maybe I can let myself have a wee bit of accomplishment as to that. Perhaps it is why I still have days where I feel very tired. This is one of those. Jane and I were to work together today and she just canceled and it works for me. Though it is morning, usually my "peak" time, I feel very tired and worn out.
Perhaps it is empathy with the oil-soaked birds. I feel great pain.