Walking in the aftermath of a tornado

Tennessee, March 7th 2020 

In a time when something as ingrained as handshakes have turned into elbow bumps, a presidency has turned into well.. Trump, and my daily morning walk through the old magical fairy grove and charming neighborhood has turned into a game of jackstraws and whole streets of restaurants, churches, venues, small shops and a hundred year old homes have been ripped into its fundamentals of piles of bricks, tiles, metal scrap and wood - a woman I’ve never seen is sitting on a chair in her living room in a gaping house, a house that I’ve passed so many times, her family’s most intimate space on the floor above her now revealing their beds for all to see, intact with headboards, no exterior walls, nowhere to hide, nowhere to reset, nowhere to store her things, her food, photos, computers and backup hard drives - all that seemed so important, so precious. 
In a time when old giants of trees that just the other day stretched tall and brave waiting for spring seeming they would outlive us all, sharing the secrets to life if I just listened intently, are torn out of the ground never to burst into another cascade of green. When old established political and economical systems have started to crumble as if from a global earthquake, I wonder - is anything permanent…? 

And suddenly in the garden of one of the few remaining houses, neighbors have gathered around a couple of people singing and playing through an amplifier. There’s talking and laughter, experiences being shared and new relationships being made, and it’s like water just sprung out from the desert and I sense the faces of death and life suddenly sharing the same coin and the Hindu Kali truly is the goddess of both violence and destruction as well as motherly love and rebirth. 

And so is anything permanent? And I answer my own question, yes ... music .. and love. 
I believe there will always be and has always been music. 
And what is the force behind this constant change, this constant creation if not love? This force that keeps congregating and conglomerating things, us - making new homes, new businesses, new relationships, new magical groves, new music. 

And I elbow bump another neighbor, another new acquaintance, another one that went through Kali the tornado, and she tells me that tomorrow Sunday there will be a music and community singalong at Five Points here in East Nashville, in and around where the destruction was the worst, and I take a photo of her phone to share and I'm thinking that through it all runs the river, sweeping through like a loving breeze .. of music .. soothingly gathering us when we thought we were cast aside. Slowly already starting to build anew that which was ripped apart.

- Ida Kristin