Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

From Floods to Flames…series on Mississippi Floodstage starts tomorrow just as I go towards the firestorms.

For those of you who know your geography and follow the news, you know that for the past month we've had flooding here in Missouri and Southwestern Illinois. Some of you have emailed me asking for updates since I haven't posted about the flooding on Riehlife. My feeling was that I wanted to wait until we knew the end of the story...until after the water receded and we knew what had happened and what hadn't... before I posted.

This is the difference between a journalist and a storyteller. The journalist's food is breaking news. The storyteller's is the perspective of the complete story arc. I am a storyteller.

My father's access road has been covered in water as the river has traveled over its banks and moved horizontally. Finally, after much nailbiting, the water is going back towards its banks around the Jersey County line where my father's property begins. The little hamlet it embraces in the lowlands at the foot of Thompson Drive now breathes more easily.

Tomorrow, I'm starting a series on the floods, a series written by my father Erwin A. Thompson. Pop can give us a historical perspective of the floods from 1903, 1943, 1973, 1993…add 15 years = 2008.

Click here to view a fun and graphic video on the water rising in Grafton, Illinois and Winfield, Missouri. [Pictures by Ward, and "Here Comes that Rainy Day Feeling by The Fortunes"]

Tomorrow I go from the flooding to the flames, or probably just seeing the results as scorched earth, as I travel back to Northern California, another of my heart's homeplaces, to visit.

In Lake and Mendocino Counties and moving further north to impact several important Buddhist centers, there have been the worst fires in memory or record.

Flames, floods, scourge of locusts...it's an astonishing time to be alive...but, we are.

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