I visited my parents for a few hours on Long Island over the weekend. It was a Sunday, almost a week after Hurricane Sandy.I read the New York newspapers.
I listened to conversations on the streets of New York City and on the Long Island Railroad.
I watched people's non-verbals.
And I saw a bunch of very long lines of people and cars waiting for gasoline - an effort by Long Islanders to have some semblance of normalcy by running generators for electricity.
My sense is that the entire island is dealing with some kind of acute traumatic stress. Whether it is a collective "dysorder" or not I'm not sure. But you could cut the tension with a knife in the train station waiting room in Babylon village, and in the bar where I got a drink.
You could hear the hurt and sorrow in the guy's voice at the rehab center whose house on the water in Babylon village was wiped out. And he is suffering from kydney failure at the same time.
I don't have any pithy statement or spiritual reflection or even words of encouragement. I feel really sad, I feel really tired (for a number of reasons). Bummer.