And yet... despite what I wrote below about the occasional light moment, the magnitude of this disaster is still impossible to take in.
I watch CNN, and they're saying things like, Good news!! Survivors are still being found in New Orleans! What? Excuse me? Survivors? Desperate people being plucked from certain death in the flood waters by rescuers? Isn't that the sort of thing we read about happening in Pakistan or Indonesia? But here? I'm not really used to hearing things like that reported from the American city I live in.
Except that, really, I am. I was living in the San Fernando Valley when the Northridge Earthquake cut loose literally under the foundations of my house. I remember the destruction, the few survivors cut out of the ruins of that infamous collapsed apartment house across the street from where I shopped for groceries. And I remember the indescribable emotional toll it took on those who had to live through it, and deal with it. Like me.
Yes, I've been here before. But this is worse.