This 17th century picture of the wheel of fortune speaks to me, like William Shakespeare's King Lear does.
The August 2005 hurricane Katrina was the costliest natural disaster as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States. An estimated $71 billion has been spent restoring and rebuilding New Orleans.
As the tenth anniversary of this disastrous event was celebrated, we learned that income for whites has soared. The African American population has higher unemployment and is poorer than it was in 2005. What's thriving in New Orleans are young, middle-age whites.
The October 2012 hurricane, Super Storm Sandy, was the second most costly hurricane in the U.S, that will end up costing about $48 billion, after all the funds are finally allocated.
Today, we see photos of smiling people who are back to leading their normal lives, but we continue to hear about homes, roads, schools, and businesses, that are not yet restored.
I keep thinking of what Shakespeare's King Lear said, in Act 4 after a horrendous storm:
"The storm itself, the winds and rain the low lying land,
Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en
Too little care of this!"
I know Lear's speeches from creating a line-by-line adaptation of "King Lear" in contemporary style language, for my husband John Cullum. Alas, John preferred the classic "King Lear."
I remember how Sandy affected our lives in New York City -- with no electricity, heat, hot water, phone, or food except what was getting spoiled in the refrigerator -- everything stopped for a week, and afterwards, it took quite a few weeks or things to normalize.
Golly, if I had a home or a business that was destroyed by Sandy would I fix it up? The Atlantic coastline, beaches, low-lying lands, global warming, worsening weather, ice melting in the arctic -- all that was involved in creating Super Storm Sandy -- could happen again. And, according to Time,
Huffington Post, Washington Post and The Associated Press, all that was done to rebuild New Orleans, would be erased by one monster storm.
Actually, thinking about what might happen again, I relate more to what "Call of the Wild" author, Jack London, said about fate: "Darn the wheel of the world. Why must it continually turn over? Where is the reverse gear?"
That's what we need, immediately, right away, quick! We needed it yesterday. We need it more than ever today.