Stories

The Tornado

I darted down the street, not knowing whether it would find me again.

Everywhere I ran and turned, it chased me, pursued me, exhausted my strength.

Crouching in the corner, it returned.

Wind blew. Debris clanged. A leaf smacked me in the face.

It was here.

Jumping up, I ran away, but it kept pursuit.

Rounding each corner I turned, this monster had a mind of its own.

It could run me over. It could sweep me up. It did neither. It only gave chase.

As I give haste, it overtakes, but never quite reaches me.

When I wait, it closes in, but only enough to make me run again.

I’m not sure what that monstrous mind of this whirling wind wants.

Does it want me? It can have me.

Does it want the streets I flee through? It leaves them unchanged.

The only damage done is to my strength.

What kind of a miraculous, monstrous, mind steers this chasing whirlwind?  · · · →

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Stories

Earthquake in Taiwan

Deatroyed building at end of streetSaturday morning I awoke at 4:00 am to my apartment shaking. I had a feeling nothing would fall. So, I went back to sleep. I was right, about my own apartment, that was. In fact, I was right about most people who also had woken up.

Honestly, and I’m somewhat ashamed to confess, though it is the truth, I enjoy being in earthquakes. I don’t like them. I get a thrill being in them. I don’t like what they do to people. I certainly don’t like their destruction nor the massive dust storms that follow the buildings they topple. But I have been through enough that I know when I am not in danger; and I secretly kind of enjoy them once I know that. They bring a thrill. Perhaps this is my way of dealing with forces beyond my control. The thrill is an ugly reality about earthquakes.

The problem is, while it was fun for me in the moment, I knew it would not be for everyone.  · · · →

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Stories

Sunflower Movement: A Day on the Ground (photos)

View Jesse’s full photo set at flickr.com

Lonely Morning SunflowerThe sun sets on several thousand gathered in Taipei. Police stand guard with riot shields and batons blocking roads and entrances. Streets overflow with students—some standing, most sitting on cardboard, Mylar heat blankets, or interlocking foam pads. Tents and booths line walkways. Traditional Taiwanese food vendors sit at the outskirts. Projection screens and stages can be found at the corner of every block, each with a different guest speaker. Sweepers patrol, armed with brooms and dustpans. The scene is clean. No one litters. Everyone is a volunteer but the police. Sunflowers and yellow banners are everywhere.

Yellow Ribbons and Projection ScreensThis is a movement unlike anything I’ve seen. Anyone who has personally encountered a head of Sate understands the term “electricity”. If you’re standing outside the White House, for instance, not even paying attention, you may suddenly feel an enormous “jolt” of emotional energy, even with no noise or activity.  · · · →

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