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Hurricane Katrina. Killer beauty.

I was reading a post by Star the other day dealing with the recent volcanic
eruption in the Kiril Islands. And it occurred to me that the whole event
was pretty damn cool.

It is too bad that natural disasters are, well, disasters. Because otherwise
there is just something incredible about the forces of nature. I hate to
admit it, but from a meteorological point of view Hurricane Katrina was
awesome. And there was something amazing about the Indonesian tsunami
also, a power so vast that it could pick up cows or even passenger trains
and transport them for miles. I suppose this is what is normally called
"Olympian detachment." But of course while the view from the summit
might be grand, the view on the ground perhaps is not nearly so.

Thunderstorms have always enthralled me. I don't like rain — or more
precisely I don't like being out in the rain — but I get a wonderful
feeling watching a major thunderstorm move in. The loud clap of thunder.
And then the flash of the lightning, illuminating the landscape. It is
as if Zeus himself really is moving across the sky. And then of course
there are tornados. I originally come from tornado country, the Midwest,
and I sat through a good number of them. Luckily none of them came too
close. Though they frighten me, I always thought that tornados were
like ancient spirits come to life, lost in a land foreign to them and
just as frightened themselves — thus their twisting and their fury.

I have never sat through a major earthquake. But I hear the experience
is not a pleasant one as the whole world seems to fall around you. In
ancient Crete the Snake Goddess was associated with the power of the
earthquake, a dark chthonic presence. While in Greece earthquakes were
associated with the god Poseidon, and in some sources Troy was destroyed
not by fire but by an earthquake.

A good portion of the Earth's geography is covered by volcanos,
especially the Pacific Rim and areas of the Mediterranean. These
volcanos have been responsible for substantial loss of life over the
years. Pliny the Elder was killed during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius
in 79 A.D. while coordinating the rescue of his fellow Romans and —
ever the scientist — making observations of the event in his notebook.
In 1628 B.C.E. a volcano exploded on the Aegean island of Thera
(Santorini), taking off one-third of the island. Luckily in that case
the surrounding citizens had enough warning that they were able to
evacuate. Volcanos became associated with the god Vulcan — thus
vulcanology.

And of course the violence of nature is not limited to our tiny planet.
In just the time it takes us to have a cup of morning coffee, a star
somewhere goes supernova. God only knows what destruction those
cause without us even being aware of it.

I have been having some major problems of late dealing with sadness.
In fact I have been struggling with it back and forth for a long time
now. I think that one of the reasons I was granted this period of Rebirth
with my pacemaker was so that I could deal with sadness — or I should
say deal with the nature of sadness. Never should we become so remote
that we become cold, lifeless zombies and not feel sadness. But I am
also beginning to understand that sadness is really a very localized
phenomenon. Because in the larger scope there is not really pain and
death, but a continuous rebirth that takes place across the Creator's
creation.

Khephera always exists at the heart of Ra. At the heart of everything.


Khephera in the solar disk with
the ba of Ra.

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