Sunday, May 13, 2007

Random Mother's Day thoughts

Recent tornados in the news and last night’s noisy storms combined to remind me of the twister I saw 39 years ago. Before that blue-black funnel chewed up and spit out a low-rise storage building in an open field less than 500 yards away, then turned hard left, it had been heading for where I stood struck still with awe.

The obvious role that chance, or some force outside myself, was playing in my life was certainly palpable that day. Although it’s hard to say exactly how that tornado experience changed me, it surely did.

A couple of years before the tornado, by chance, I stopped by my mother’s apartment, where I had lived only months before, to find it in flames and her asleep. After I carried her to safety, I went back in to fight the blaze in two rooms with an old foam fire extinguisher I had once liberated from an ancient apartment building that was being demolished.

Soon I passed out in the thick smoke. I don’t even remember feeling dizzy or falling down. Then, I came to my senses on the floor.

Don’t know how long I was down. With flames around me on two-and-a-half sides, it sounded like a far away voice calling my name; it woke me up. No comment on what that voice could have been. Today it all seems more like a dream than history.

Anyway, I scrambled reflexively away from the heat -- seven times hotter, hotter than it ought to be...

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