Red Dawn: Living under the Eruption

Some days are better than others. Some days it’s hard to breathe. Those days start out red.

600-700 houses destroyed in a few days.  Those were bad days.
For the home-owners. Mostly they were vacation-rentals.
They all knew the risks. We all know the risks.

Or Liberation?

The eruption means that you can lose everything in a few days.
The eruption eats civilization.
It doesn’t care about your house, your job, your mortgage, your pets,  your money, your car, your health, your anything.
The eruption doesn’t care about politics – corruption or honesty, socialism or capitalism.
The eruption is fire and death. The eruption is birth.  The eruption is black magma and red air.
Black after-birth lying there on the floor.
The eruption is dead fish, dead trees, dead birds.

A man got drunk and crashed his 1993 Toyota pickup into a barely cooled lava flow. A man got angry and attempted to shoot his neighbor.  Some people got arrested trying to have sex by the lava flow.  Some people had to be evacuated by helicopter because they refused to leave their houses.  There are hundreds of people in shelters.

The eruption laughs at your roads and your place-names.

The eruption laughs at what you thought was real.
The eruption doesn’t care about the human mind and its plans.
It doesn’t care about the future.

4 Replies to “Red Dawn: Living under the Eruption”

  1. Some people got arrested trying to have sex by the lava flow

    Trying to prove to each other they were really hot, no doubt….

    The Earth is a puzzle. People are a puzzle. Put them together, and try not to be too surprised when weird things happen.

    Having never been in the presence of volcanic activity I have to wonder – does the ground tremble at all when activity increases (as far away as the ranch)? Is there any hint of activity among the other volcanos of the archipelago?

    A thunderstorm rolled through this afternoon. A handful of lightning strikes in the immediate area. Thunder gets lots of attention, but its the lightning that does the work.

    1. Hi Clem, yes there are small earthquakes that we feel as far away as we are. Not as many as those close by (up to 500 a day over there.)
      No, no other volcano seems to be waking up so far.

  2. Michelle,
    A beautiful poem that speaks to the simple and terrifying truth of volcanic eruption . How true, that the earth moves with little regard to anyone’s life and concerns. What can one who lives far away say. “I hope you are well.” No, not that. In my heart I know you are not well. How could anyone be “well” in the face of what is happening to your island home. So instead I’ll say “Be strong”.

    your friend,

    1. Thank you, Jody. It isn’t a pleasant experience, certainly, and not most people’s idea of paradise, but difficult experiences have their own rewards.
      A friend of mine mentioned that he went to a talk given by a deeply respected Native Hawaiian elder and teacher of the hula. She said of this eruption: “This right now is the deepest experience and connection that you can have with your ancestors. Not the hula, this.”

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