Thursday, June 9, 2011
After the Tornado: Meg and Sam
It's been a couple weeks since May 22nd. I still can't grasp what happened. The tornado came and went in seconds, minutes, and now our lives our changed. I was in Joplin for a week stunned, trying to help, wandering aimlessly, crying, punching things, having nightmares, overeating, getting drunk, staring at the tv and internet when I could get it in awe that Anderson Cooper was in my town. That the whole world had descended on my town, kind of like the tornado did, but now it was people bustling over the same ground, in the same exact path, working over what was left, picking through it, mulling it over.
Then I left for Springfield to work with amazingly gifted high school arts students from all over the state of Missouri. I just left. My head knows there will still be tons of rebuilding to do when I get back in a month, that the same people-friends-tribe will be there when I get back. But for the first time since I moved to Joplin 6 years ago, I want to be with those folks. They are my every day. This wonderful Academy experience is a utopia of sorts; I love these people but they are not my every day. This is difficult to reconcile right now.
Meg and Sam are two of those people I know in Joplin. This is their house. Matt Dehaemers took this photo. He is a public artist who was there yesterday collecting the wreckage of Meg and Sam's house to take back to a KC gallery and remake nothing into something. What a wonderful collaboration; I was able to set this up and it makes me happy. The next photo is of them in my kitchen. Our mutual friend, Nellie Mitchell, took this shot. She is an artist, too. I'm letting Meg, Sam and their three kids and dog live in my house for the summer while they figure out their next steps. I got to visit them last night and they are healing. They are a tight, precious family unit and they are comfortable in my house. This makes me happy, too.