I was telling a friend the other day that I loved hurricanes as a child. Fifteen minutes later, as the breeze made the trees dance feverishly, I realized with all my heart that I still do.

It’s been two days now since Irene came whirling through New York. I woke up this morning to a soft gust blowing through my bedroom curtains. The world feels new again. People are outside doing simple tasks like sweeping the sidewalk. Others have headed off to work, but there is a definite change of pace. The streets are quieter. Life feels slower. More deliberate. The wind is gentle, fresh, and romantic in its own way.

I grew up in South Florida where hurricanes were a real danger. People packed stores and took everything off the shelves–condiments, old jars of pickled stuff. Gas station lines wrapped around the block. Everyone had something to talk about, someone to care for. A bit of healthy hysteria combined with the actual threat that nature could very well kill us was this little girl’s wet dream. Hurricanes were god-like. They appeared from nothing like some otherworldly entity coming to get us. Ask a Miami kid what the sky looked like the night before a big storm. It was ominously beautiful. Violet reds mixed with orange, pink, subtle blues… Nature in all its glory and magnificent power. On the one hand, it was sickeningly gorgeous, on the other, brutal chaos.

On this note, I welcome you to my world. Dualities reign freely here. The ruined and the beautiful are closely linked. Life is at its best when the threat of death is near. I’ve spent so much time seeking some semblance of perfection only to realize it is the damages that draw my eye.

Please make yourself at home. Be kind to the furniture.

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