In the Eye of the Storm

by Starla J. King on October 29, 2012

Weather model predictions show the eye of Hurricane Sandy glaring directly across Philadelphia… so we’ve been diligent in our preparations:

  • Brownies baked. Check.
  • Bottled water, batteries, nuts, and bronze hair color for late night candle-lit entertainment purchased. Check.
  • Kitty carriers set up. Check.
  • All electronics fully charged, mass of white cords balled together for transport. Check.
  • Little baggies of water frozen into ice packs. Check.
  • Toy mice stuffed with fresh catnip. Check.
  • Suitcase packed, based on answers to questions I’ve never asked myself before (does one wear pajamas at a shelter??). Check.

Yet something still felt unready to me. Physical needs were all addressed… but … the rest of me? Not so much.

I needed a security blanket.  The *something* that whispers in the midst of a literal or figurative storm that “it’ll be ok, my dear.  It is already and always will be ok.”

I needed my journal(s).  My writing pens (Pilot G-2 07, in blue. yes, I have pen issues).  My Rumi poetry collections. My Kindle (til the battery runs out).  My brilliant colors of drawing pens.

Comfort I can intake.  Comfort I can ex-take (aka “express”).

That’s what creative activity can do for us — ANY of us — in ANY “hurricane” situation.  It gives us a way to make sense of what’s happening.  It gives us a way to be with the discomfort and a way to take a break from it when it gets too intense to handle.

A mind bathed in color loses its grip on fear.

A hand swirling ink across a page releases pent up nervous steam.

Fingers flying on a keyboard let you look your storm in the eye without it eroding your entire emotional coastline.

Words expressed as humor force out that breath you’ve been holding.

Like this email from my brother this morning:  “‎What do you call a mollusk on the beach waiting for Hurricane Sandy to arrive? The clam before the storm, of course.”

So maybe it’s time to upgrade your storm preparedness kit — whether your current seas are calm or wreaking havoc inland.  Food, water, batteries … and art stuff.

May we all stay safe in the eye of our hurricanes.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachael October 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

AMEN on the G-2s! I can’t go anywhere without one in my purse, one in my cupholder, one in my pocket, one in my bra… ok maybe not my bra that could get ugly.

LOVE this post.


Starla J. King October 29, 2012 at 12:56 pm

I have one in every room of the house. In every notebook. If I carried a purse, I’d have one there. And now I’m going to try the bra. 😉

Grab your paints and hunker down, Rache!


Debra Smouse October 29, 2012 at 1:12 pm

My pen of choice is the Uniball 207Gel Pen. I have them in blue, red, and black, but the basic black is my favorite. Keep us updated on your safety!


Starla J. King October 31, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I love hearing about peoples’ perfect writing pens… and colors! I used to use black all the time…not sure why I switched to blue.. now I’m blue all the way!

And good news… we’re safe after the storm!


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