Lyrics: “The Twenty-First Century Survival Blues” ~ Frank Turner, 2018
I might suffer from a mild case of belated shock over the flood catastrophe here in Germany. I’m away on vacation by the sea at the moment, but of course followed the news and reports from friends and family on Wednesday night / Thursday morning. My hometown was hit by some floods and there are some damages, but nobody was injured or died and streets and bridges are cleared already as far as I know. None of my family or friends there were affected at all. Another friend in a neighbouring town, which was hit much worse, got through it without any damages to their apartment or car either. The photos and videos they sent from this day were scary enough. So I spent the first day of this horrible time focusing on those cities and my loved ones and didn’t really pay much attention to other regions in my home state. Maybe I was supressing it, as I didn’t want to deal with more negative news on my vacation. The main purpose of this vacation was to relax and recharge. I already have my share of negative or at least serious stuff on my mind handling the current healthcare / care situation in my family.
But of course by now it has caught up with me and… now I can almost not stop watching the news on TV or online and reading the horrible news about fatalities and lost homes and livelihoods. To see whole neighbourhoods or even small villages in such a devastating state? These people have lost EVERYTHING! Home, belongings, memories. It breaks my heart and it leaves me speechless. I really don’t know what to say.
I work in the climate action sector and I am political person. Which goes without saying in this job, I guess. And yes, first and foremost we have to take care of the people, communities and cities in need, we have to help them get through this and rebuild their lives. But we also NEED to talk about what we need to change in the future. Because of course climate change is a big part of the reason these kind of catastrophes happen. More and more often and with more severe consequences. And I think as a democratic society we are or at least should be able to multitask and to do both kind of things at the same time. It’s not one or the other. I can donate to emergency funds and share helpful information and still criticise our state’s prime minister and his government and his party for the lack of serious climate action policies or measures. I don’t just want to send “thoughts and prayers” and then forgot about the real issue at hand. The “now is not the time to talk about it” is the same crap of avoidance tactis the NRA and Republicans use after any school shooting in the US and I’m fed up by it.
As you can imagine my relaxing, recharging vacation isn’t going quite as relaxed as I had hoped. Another reason for that is, as mentioned above the ongoing (health)care situation in our family we need to handle at the moment, which means even here I’m making phone calls or sending mails and researching stuff. Mostly in the mornings so that I can relax and recharge in the afternoon and evening. This plan at least is working quite well so far and I can compartmentalize quite well.
I’ve spend most of my recharge time the last two days with reading “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” and I loved it. So much that I have a hard time starting any of the other novels in my big book bag, so I went for two non-fictions as well. One is “Atomic Habits” and even though I’m only at the beginning, it already gave me a lot to think about. I’m not sure I completely buy the “even tiny habits add up” philosophy yet, but the whole “‘who do you want to be’ instead of ‘what do you want to achieve'” angle is something very interesting. So I’ll dig into this more tomorrow. On my last day here. This week went by quickly. I didn’t venture out into the village much or did any of the activies on offer other than the tidal flat tour early one. And that’s fine. I came here to not do anything. And I did that well 🙂