F I R E
It has been quite a moment in time here in California. The mass shooting in Thousand Oaks and then into all this. As the fires still rip, an ominous vibe hangs in the air. People are shaken, disquieted. Here in the Central San Fernando Valley, the air is heavy and so are my lungs. That characteristic, SoCal positivity isn't entirely gone, but it's definitely been choked under the smoke and smolder.
The devastation is still unfathomable. I look at images of Westlake Village, Malibu, and of course, Paradise, CA. Entire neighborhoods reduced to rubble. It looks like a warzone. I cannot imagine what that would feel like. The sense of deep and utter loss and displacement, not only for one’s self and family, but for one’s entire community. They must be in total shock; my heart breaks for them all.
And the animals. Oh, the animals.
And the brave, hero firefighters, working around the clock.
So much to contemplate.
I watched and rewatched the videos that several people (somehow) took of themselves while they were driving through firestorm (here's a link to one I can't shake). Absolutely terrifying and yet I was compelled to watch again and again. How did they do that? What could that possibly have been like? You can hear the fear, the grave and utter dread in their eerily calm voices as they call out to God. It looks like they’re driving through Hell, literally. They were.
That first night as Joe and I watched it unfold on tv, we noticed a banner one of the news stations was using on the left bottom corner of the screen: FIRESTORM, complete with sensationalized motion graphics of flames and smoke. It blended right into the images on the screen, contributing to a mounting feeling of anxiety, stimulating that part of the brain that is at turns horrified and perversely fascinated by something terrible. A danger. A darkness. Something imminent, unstoppable and out of the ordinary - something that might just bring the whole damn thing to ruin. Game over. Buh-Bye. I think we might all be secretly half-expecting that moment to come any day now. I kind of thought it was going to be aliens. But maybe it's this. Here we are.
After about 24 hours, we need a break from the news. But I remain aware every second, compulsively checking my phone, ping-ponging between Facebook, Twitter, news feeds, Google searches, anything to feed the driving need to stay vigilant, to protect my family, to be ready to flee, if necessary, at a moment's notice. And to feel connected to my California as she goes up in flames. My big, beautiful, wild California and all her gorgeous, free-spirited creatures that I love so well.
I order a HEPA air purifier and a box of NIOSH N95 particulate respirator masks (why yes, of course I was up at midnight doing the research) and wonder if we’ll be there to receive them or if Amazon will be delivering to an abandoned home, the packages only to be devoured by flames. And then I decide quickly, no, that won't happen. But I still feel better knowing I have them. It feels so dramatically end of days out there. Every inch of me says it’s important to be prepared, that more is yet to come. Gather your emergency kits - for the car and the home. Keep your gas tank full. Get a generator. That's on the list.
Now the news is that the fire here was started at Santa Susana Field Lab, the site of a nuclear disaster that happened in Simi Valley years ago. It was never properly cleaned up. People have been begging for action for years. The cancer rate is insanely high there. Again, I'm almost at a loss for words. This is honestly one of my worst nightmares. I fear breathing in toxic chemicals. How can it be avoidable? We only live 27 miles away. It may be time to get out of Dodge. Before it seeps into the groundwater. Before we’re all breathing it in. Is it too late? What in the hell will we do? I don't mean to be alarmist, but this is a real concern. And everyone should be thinking about it.
A report just came out four hours ago that says the government inspected and it's "safe"; they say it "hasn't been impacted by the fire at all".
But we've heard that before, haven't we?
As the fires continue to burn, we inside have been boiling over as well. Yesterday was all tears and tantrums from the baby, a lot of reactionary madness from myself and Joe. We need to do better. It’s been stressful. Anger is contagious; it spreads like wildfire and torches everything in its path.
It is so intense out there, with that hateful, racist embarrassment of a President setting the tone, destroying the environment, polluting our consciousness and rocking our center daily with his nonsensical diatribes and bullshit. Rage swirling on all sides.
I have recently come to the conclusion that I am in need of some serious down time. I need to schedule that shit in. And stick to it. Like so many, I am exhausted. Depleted. Burned out. I need to recharge. Find balance. Calm. To find joy and stability in the everyday journey, even when the outside world is shaking. Screaming. Burning. Begging for healing.
According to those with knowledge of these things, this past Sunday (11/11/18) a portal opened. A chance for deep healing and manifestation. An invitation to step boldly through to where you think you'd like to go. I feel the call to reinvent myself. To disappear more fully into the new, leaving behind any fears still clinging to the old.
And so I’ve been thinking over these past few powerful days, what is this fire element speaking to us? What can this fire energy purify? What personal fires do we need to put out? What behaviors need to be burned away? Can we allow transmutation to occur?