Sunday, November 11, 2012
The Power Switch
Today the sea is in the air. The winds are strong, the sun is bright and the coast feels just around the corner. It seems as if water has been freed to travel all the lands of earth and air. I have been very saddened by a news story I heard on CNN last night about an elderly woman who cannot walk and who lives high up in one of the darkened Coney Island high rises that allow poor people to see the sea. She sits in darkness, in pain, in worry, waiting for the knock on her door that says someone in that vast rich city of New York cares that she still wants to live. The lights of Manhattan glimmer as they always do, the beacons of influence and power, but for Ms Rodriquez whose swollen feet can barely touch the foot rests of her wheel chair, civil power has literally left her in cold darkness. Yes, I was thrilled when Obama won, the alternative was unthinkable, but now I wonder where does a disabled elderly woman living in the projects, as we used to call them, find her solace? Bloomberg, the Red Cross? The knock did come, from a group of young people who had trudged up the endless darkened floors looking for the apartments of those others had told them needed help. Plastic bags filled with the minimum, water and peanut butter sandwiches, hanging from their tired shoulders. What if the order of who gets help first was turned on its head? What if those who need help the most received it first while the lights of the stock market fell dim, bowed its head for a short while, so the full wealth of the city could flow to those whose hands do not lie close to the power switch.