Nashville Rising: The Great Flood of 2010

May 12, 2010 at 9:42 pm (blog, helping, nashville, photo, photoblog, photography, pictures, reflecting, sadness, storm, struggle, suffering, support, tennessee, TN, Uncategorized, weather) (, , , )

AC-we-are-nashville

If you don’t live in Nashville, the recent flooding may be news to you. Unfortunately, it has been overlooked by much of the national media until recently. We are now a week out, and the level of devastation is really starting to sink in.

Many people have completely lost their homes. Much of the downtown area was underwater. The famous Opryland Hotel has had to decline visitors at least through October to get the cleanup process underway after the 10 feet of water that swept through and left a thick layer of mud after the water receeded.

When you drive through the suburbs, you see endless piles of trash and debris that was once the makings of people’s homes. It’s a sobering reminder of just how easy life can change in an instant.

The great thing about this tragic event has been the action of countless volunteers. People are driving in herds to the other side of town to help people they don’t know. It’s an amazing thing to see, and it says a lot about this grand city we call home.

You don’t have to live in Nashville to help. There are plenty of ways to make monetary donations or item donations to those who lost so much by this event.

One thing I love about Nashville is the graphic design community. In a matter of a day or two, multiple graphics were created for tshirts and posters all to benefit the flood victims. Here is a list of some of the items available.  I did not create any of these… just passing it along for the greater good

Click on the image to be taken to the purchasing site:

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poster

nashville-flood1

ilovenashvilleblue_largeh2010_brown_large

we-are-nashville-bumper-sticker-3x11-5_large

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Reflections on Christmas Eve

December 24, 2007 at 6:45 pm (belief, blog, Christ, christian, christmas, friendship, god, helping, introspective, jesus, journal, life questions, reflecting, support)

I hope most of you are in the company of people you care for, and who care about you.  Something about Christmas makes everyone take a moment to reflect.  Whether they believe in the power of the birth of Christ or not, people are someone taken by the spirit of this season, and all of the good that goes along with it.  We all seem to embrace the idea of giving to those in need, in appreciating the things we have, and of celebrating the relationships we have.  I feel some sort of common ground with everyone at this time of year.  It seems to strip away our differences and leave us with nothing more (or less) than the knowledge that we are human, and in need of each other.

I was on my way home from doing some Christmas shopping the other day.  As I came around a curve on a small, residential road, I pulled up right upon a wreck that had just happened only a second before.   One car (we’ll call this car #1)  was sitting sideways in the middle of the road, while smoke billowed from underneath the hood.  The other car (car #2) had skid across the road, through someone’s yard, and into a tree.  I quickly pulled over and rushed to the cars to see if anyone was hurt.  An elderly African American couple were the occupants of car #1.  The older gentleman was getting out from behind the wheel, limping along with his cane to examine the damage as I came up to them.  Thank God everyone was ok.  I’m so surprised there weren’t at least some minor injuries.  I chatted with the older couple, and finally convinced the guy to have a seat since it would probably be a while before the police would get there to write it up.

Emerging from car #2 was a middle-aged “soccer mom”.  She was visibly shaken up, almost to the point of tears.  She had, thankfully, just dropped off her 4 year old son with her husband and was on her way to work.  She called her husband, who was there in a matter of minutes, with 4 year old in tow.

As all of this unfolded, a few neighbors from nearby came out from their various houses.  One older hispanic looking woman directed the traffic around the car #1 that was still in the road.  A young African American dad  and his daughter came out, bringing snacks and toys to occupy the busy little boy that was much more interested in anything within close proximity to the street.

I started pulling out things I had in my car:  a classroom calendar with little velcro dates you can place accordingly, a counting matching game, and most importantly, marshmellows.

It seemed like forever before the cops actually showed up.  Since I had no where I needed to be, I stuck around and, if nothing more, tried to keep the kids involved in something.  Over two hours had passed before I finally offered to run down the street and pick up some lunch for everyone.  I sped over to McD’s and ordered a sackful of burgers.  As we sat around and ate our picnic lunch, I was struck with a sense of overwhelming gratitude.  Here I was, in the midde of a potentially chaotic situation, but was able to witness people from all walks of life offering all that they had.  I really have no idea what social status anyone belong to… and it really doesn’t matter.  It was quite a site to see everyone come together, despite the many differences that has the ability to separate us from each other.

I think this is how it was meant to be.  This captures the true spirit of Christmas, reaching out to those in need, regardless of whether or not you feel like what you have is enough to offer.  I have a feeling there is rarely anything that is not appreciated.

I hope I have the opportunity to do that more.  I want to be able to love in spite of circumstances.  I want to be able to reach out and touch someone in a positive way, regardless of how inadequate I may feel.

May we all have these opportunities in our lives.

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hanging on

November 2, 2007 at 11:55 pm (answer, belief, blog, Blogroll, god, helping, introspective, journal, life questions, masks, potential, pretending, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, suffering, support)

Every now and then I get the urge to be someone really cool;  Someone who isn’t me.  I want to completely reinvent myself, tossing aside anything that makes me who I am and completely starting from scratch.  I have these grandiose ideas in my head of the person I’d like to be.  I even begin to make some sort of game plan to make each thought become reality.

Life has a way of making me want to check out every now and then.  Sometimes I just want to crawl away and hide for an extended period of time, peeking out occasionally just to check and see if the coast is clear.  I don’t know what it is I’m hiding from, but I know it’s scary.  It threatens the light that lies deep in my soul.

I know that these periods will pass.  All I can do is brace myself and hold on tight until the worst is over and I can resume being myself again.

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how much is enough?

October 30, 2007 at 12:46 pm (answer, belief, blog, Blogroll, friendship, god, helping, introspective, journal, life questions, potential, pretending, questioning, rant, reflecting, struggle, suffering, support, Uncategorized)

 

In my line of work, I’m constantly around people that need help.  More specifically, I’m constantly around people that come to me for help.  More often than not, I feel pretty inadequate in my ability to give them what they need.  It’s quite a helpless feeling. The things is, I’m not sure that they really know what it is they need exactly.  They just know that something has to change.

How many of us are in that same boat?  I know I am.  I’m not necessarily looking for a right answer, I just need someone to help me get started.  More than anything, it helps to know that I’m not alone.

I rarely have any answers, for myself or anyone else.  I’m not sure life works that way.  Strangely, I’m noticing that the less I feel responsibility to “do” something, the more helpful I can actually be.

Sometimes its not in having the right answer.  As a matter of fact, there rarely is an answer.  Everything is a process.  What people really want is someone to be with them to walk through that process, or to help them take the very first step that may seem so daunting.

I think if we can get away from feeling such a need to have the right answer, only then can we really get down to what it’s all truly about.

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