Archive for Nashville

Golden Threads in the Darkness

GOLDEN THREADS IN THE DARKNESS

One time during a spa therapy session
A reiki master told me something like
I had a golden thread coming out of my crown
It sure sounded interesting and unusual
Rather like a colorful radiating thread perhaps, making some
Sort of cosmic connection I figure.
Must have been in a state of enlightenment or deep tranquility at that point.
Seems now that the golden thread-feeling is not as
Strong as it was then or recently;
Something perhaps about big city living
With its discourteous people, hard and harsh and uncaring people around
With its hard surfaces and jostling mass transit rides
With delays, constant noise, irregularities in the day and in the schedules of others;
Bickering and complaining and pests inside and outside…
Worldliness can tarnish the natural good inside of us;
Making us prone to sickness and vulnerable to troubles of all sorts and from all sides;
The world and where you work can indeed make you sick;
Just the getting there can make anyone rattled and unsettled.
That does not mean we can be rude or stop caring.
We can be even more civil and caring and disciplined and gracious-
The more people who are so, the better everyone will be.
Golden threads connecting us all, inside and outside and with each other,
Radiating rainbow colors and light, life and vibrant energy to others and within us.

Divi Logan, Chicago. 2013.

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Seasonal Solitude: On Observation of the Cooper’s Hawk

ON OBSERVATIONS OF A COOPER’S HAWK IN NASHVILLE

Inspired by reading Walt Whitman and William Wordsworth in an hour of peaceful solitude… in downtown Chicago… in winter.
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When the weather was neither hot nor cold;

When in our at that time unmanicured back yard… that quiet back forty

Where we have wildlife and birds that come and go with the seasons;

There chanced oneo day when I was strolling

Out in that back forty plainly loafing

And thinking of nothing in particular, with mind wandering,

There came into my vision from the left, over the low tree and bush level

A gray gliding form, a spectacular bird,

And perched it upon a tree trunk

Sheared of many of its limbs due to this and that condition but left

For the birds to use and in this case

That majestic nearly mature Cooper’s Hawk certainly did.

It swooped silently in and landed in the top third of the trunk where some sturdy limbs remained;

And in silence I watched to see what it would do.

All details of the bird were plainly visible, so close it was to me;

Its beak, eyes, coloring and stripes, its mottling and size… a female most likely and on the hunt.

For as later observations proved, there were plenty of fat mourning doves in that part of our yard,

That chanced to gather near the back door.

But the many times the hawk came round, it followed a particular pattern as it circled the yard.

It would go to the same trees at about the same height, and thus had a splendid view

Of our yard and the surrounding yards as well, to spot its evening meal.

I silently tracked it as it branch – hopped, going to the perimeter, the front, the other side and then back to its starting place.

Then after a time it would fly away, heading south at almost the same angle and height and over the same yard.

Naturally the doves began to disappear; the hawk probably had a family somewhere around the neighborhood.

How majestic and beautiful a sight;

To commune in peace with this wild, silent, graceful creature

In peace and solitude in our backyard.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

** I have since thought that since we get so many different types of birds and wildlife, some migratory birds as well, that our yard might be part of a flyway or passing point for animals such as red foxes, Cape May Warblers, some species of owls such as the Screech and the Barred, the Cedar Waxwing, the Black and White Warbler, the Rose-Breasted Grosbeak, and some species of Kinglet and Tanager. We have a wealth of nature’s offerings, and it is marvelous to see and be around them. **

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In Memorial: For My Brother

During this time every year I remember my late brother, Guy William Logan, M.D. Tomorrow would be his birthday.

In paraphrase of the eulogy, given during the funeral in a mausoleum, my father recalled him as akin to a road flare, or a meteor, bright but short -lived, stellar and visible and worthy of attention, but not long in duration.

The medical community of east Tennessee no doubt still misses him, and the people of UT no doubt have their special feelings as well. If you see this and want to, share them with me.

We did not get to close some loose ends, but now is the time to forgive, remember, and move on with the good memories enhancing action and thought.

Taken too soon but not forgotten; he lives on in me, his parents, and in his family.

For him, this short thought:

Doctors have depression too,
And we must recall that through and through,
Those who care for us need our understanding too;
That they may press on every day,
Giving and sharing their caring ways.
Let us thank them heart and soul,
For learning so they can heal us all.

For Guy, 1968 to 2004.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

 

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THE WILTING FLOWERS OF OUR NATION

A TRIBUTE AND A CALL TO ACTION FOR OUR PRECIOUS YOUTH IN THE UNITED STATES

Where did all our wondrous flowers go;
In the seasons past so many gone from our midst:
When actions from us their faces did take…
And shook our communities head to foot.

Abused, abandoned, and all full of questions;

Bullied and beaten about by people and their environment;

Caught in the crossfire and chased from their homes;

Death and destruction follow them daily.

Evicted from home with families in the cold and existing in poverty or not, they grow old;

Fraught with troubles and problems overt and bold,

Groping in the dark on Gang turf and vacant grass.

Hiding in their own homes when mobs they do pass;

Injured by stray bullets and flying shards of glass,

Junk in their bodies by pushers stuck in,

Kill and kill more and more potent the cartels move in to kill again.

Loss of love and no one to support them when they must speak of the loss of a loved one;

Murder and massacre muddle their minds,

Never a quiet night in their neighborhoods when nuisance gangs bring their drugs out to sell.

Out, out foulness so disgraceful, that causes our children to be out and out scared;

Pride of those greedy and arrogant and foolin’, has taken the childhood out of those children;

Quickly they must rush home and back, to the bus and to the store;

Running in fear when the shouting and shooting begin and hoping they will not be struck;

Summer is a season of fear for them; they cannot go out on their own lawns alone.

Turf wars the reason, they hide in their bedrooms, and try not to think about the troubles outside.

Until a car drives by and someone begins shooting and shouting and flashing those signs.

When the victim is one of your family, and then you hear the news in the ER:

“X-rays reveal no exit wound,

Your child was critical when brought in and now, there is

Zero chance of survival.”

…Wandering about in the deep silence of night, those sorrowing parents will talk about that which they could have done… might have done…

“… should have bought them those drums, perhaps….”

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To the memory of all victims of gun violence in this nation in the past decade, especially for the people of Chicago, Newtown, Aurora, and the United States, and for their families and their communities.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

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Education: A Closer Look at the United States Education System, Part 1.

Teachers’ strikes, dropouts, standardized test scores as a criteria for judging achievement… funding or underfunding for certain school districts or in certain areas; we are hearing so much related to the education system that it seems a step back and a look from other angles is warranted.

In this case the sooner the better. The education system is experiencing waste of billions of dollars a year and so many hot -button issues that there are obviously flaws, shortcomings and corrupted elements in the system as it now is.

I thought it a challenge to take one of those different angles, one which is skipped around in the news these days in the face of talk of competitiveness, longer school days or more hours added to every day, “learning” goals, test score goals and the like. If the United States education system is of sorts a laboratory to try and get people “standardized”, “normalized”, and put them in the state of losing their individuality and their uniqueness and their special gifts and talents in order to make everyone follow a sort of herd mentality, then I suspect that these failures are part of the grand experiment. There is control and observation in any experiment; there is learning from what goes into the experiment, and then there is how the results are disseminated and whether or not everyone who needs to know the facts is let in on said facts. As observed, the hot -button topics are just that, methods to quickly incite people to strike, to cause other forms of trouble in talking about funding, resources, hazing, bullying, vandalism of campuses, etc. There are part of the problem… and if there is one thing then there is its opposite, there is a solution.

It seemed best to begin at the head, at the top of the mountain, at the crown of the ruling body, naturally, and that is the federal level, the United States Department of Education, and what its goals are. One can gauge a goal from the mission or objective statement, and in this case that of the USDOE is as follows:

(The department’s) mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. Among its other goals are:

Establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing as well as monitoring those funds.
Collecting data on America‘s schools and disseminating research.
Focusing national attention on key educational issues.
Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

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Now perhaps to some these goals are well and good and sound complete enough, promoting achievement, preparing the students for the worldly workplace, fostering excellence and ensuring that everyone has equal access… but to what, we must ask. There can be equal access to the lane of a highway, but those who are using those lanes must cooperate to ensure that safety comes first, that it is all right to merge and that there is nothing going on that blocks one’s clear passage down the road. Thus there can be equal access to any resource that deals with providing students with the proper education: paper, school buildings, proper lunches, energy, water, science equipment, books, school nurses, music instruments, band uniforms, bus transport, sports uniforms, etc.

And what are the “key educational issues” spoken to in the goals of the USDOE? Why also are they talking in language that speaks to past failures, such as adding the words equal access, discrimination, financial aid, monitoring funds? Have we not yet become civilized enough to ensure that such issues can be as everyday as breathing and eating, things that can be taken care of without worry and concern clouding every move someone makes when money is an issue or when the idea of proper funding or the right kind of research is brought to the front?

What are we researching, as well; what sort of data are we collecting and for what purpose are the data being collected? The Census collects data regarding national demographics and then what happens with that data? When you gather information on something, what is the intention for which you do that research? Is it to talk up some sort of “diversity” issue and fund or not fund businesses based on the kind of people they are hiring and what neighborhood they are in and what they sell; is it to use the categories we use to separate people (race, religion, marital status, economics, education level, ethnicity) and then give a company or organization funds based on those divisive aspects?

We talk about preparing students to be “competitive”, but what comes before learning to fight someone or get into competition with somebody? Well, before you can get onto the plane that takes you to the battlefield you first have to learn to work with the people you will be in the same unit with. Take the basics from the classic TV show, “Gomer Pyle, USMC“. Before the recruits have any access to weapons or to battle, they must first learn to be a platoon, to drill properly and in step, and follow the clear commands of the leader. They must learn and practice military courtesy, a requisite for working together in a disciplined, civilzed, and respectful atmosphere. They must learn to dress appropriately, to do things at a certain time in the right time of day or night, and to be in the correct place at the ordained time. The point is the recruits must learn to work together and cooperate first. They tackle the obstacle course, take other training, and play the occasional joke on each other, but in the end they cooperate and become an honor platoon.

In later eposides the recruits learn to spar with the pugil sticks, they learn how to clean and handle their rifles, and they do other things to get them in combat readiness. But this process takes weeks, months, even years to achieve. The marksman’s medals do not come overnight; and neither does a proper education come in a week, even to the most aspiring student. Shakespeare, in the play Henry IV, may have touted the battle -ready Prince Hal as one endowed with the spirit of “teaching and of learning instantly”, but that is in an idealized moment when the prince, who in previous scenes was wanton in his ways, carousing, exploiting his rank and having less interest to the affairs of state than his younger brother, shows on the field in shining armor, his cloak flying, his weapons at the ready, his mind and eye set to victory. It takes years to get to such a level of accomplishment. This cannot be done by over -eager parents and officials gathering around the young children and telling them their life history in a matter of seconds, the “please your teachers, please your parents, get good grades, grow up, go to a great university, pass the tests, and get a job and maybe become president, and start a family and get a home and pay your taxes…”

That’s enough to make even the hardiest soul want to reverse course and go to another part of the battlefield to get another view, and that is what this series of articles is going to be about, that view of our education system that takes a challenge to the talk about competitiveness, business, global this and that, and such, and get to what could be considered the heart, the center, the cornerstone, the foundation of the matter.

This is the goal of preparing students in an atmosphere of teamwork and cooperation, that they may become productive and good citizens. Thus what is needed is to explore what it is to be a good citizen and what the USDOE is or is not doing to foster this essential element of what it means to live in any country and practice the duties that come with being a good citizen. Just as it is the duty of a recruit to learn to drill properly, to listen closely to the commands of the drill instructor, to learn to clean a rifle properly, and to learn the general orders, so it is the duty of every good citizen to learn how to get along with others, to follow the law, to keep up property in orderly appearance, to keep up with community issues and participate in improving one’s city/town/village, and other important aspects of being a proud citizen… a proud participant, that is, in one’s national happenings. It is, simply, having what is known as patriotism, or national pride.

Let us get started with a look at what the aspects or principles of GOOD CITIZENSHIP are. I consider that I and my best friends are good citizens, and we:

Are community -minded and work to improve the areas we live in;
Do not use violence against others;
Keep up our properties in neat and orderly appearances;
Follow the law for the safety of ourselves and others;
Do not cause trouble for others;
Behave respectfully in public (in transit, while shopping, at worship, dining out, just walking in the park);
Keep up with current events in order to stay informed on important issues;
Exercising the right to vote;
Respect others;
Follow the principles of trust, accountability, and decency.

We endeavor to live quiet, humble lives, do our work well/ perform our jobs in a timely and orderly fashion, keep up with national events in order that we know what to discuss when an issue of importance arises or when natural disasters threaten our fellow citizens, and we are concerned for the safety of others, and that we respect others. This means the best of what it is to be ‘civil’ and ‘honorable’ and ‘duty -minded’.

You could also tie these facets of behavior, thought, and action into the principles followed by the folks of NASA’s Mission Control. Good behavior is vital the completion and success of any plan and the satisfaction of the participants. The goals of the Moon Program at the outset were twofold: to put man on the moon AND return him safely back to Earth. Had that second part of the plan been lacking, what would have been the point of the first? There is so much tied into ensuring the goals of our education system are proper and thoughtful, so that no more resources are wasted – no more time, money, hours, paper, energy, diesel fuel, food, anything.

Failure is not acceptable (read Gene Kranz’s book, Failure is not an Option). If we are talking up a system that has more holes than a Swiss cheese, more flaws than the worst – quality diamond, and more ruts than the surface of Mercury, a system that plainly has so many cracks that anyone could fall through them, we need to take a reverse course and go to doing the whole system all over again. After all, it would be rather silly to build the roof before you build the foundation of the house. And even then, it would not make sense to start on the house before the ground is prepared to receive the building materials… and naturally one must make a budget before even one order to the builder’s supply shop is placed.

SOURCES: WEBSITES ACCESSED

1. United States Department of Education. Overview and Mission Statementhttp://www2.ed.gov/about/landing.jhtml. Accessed December 4, 2012. Page 1.
2. An interesting site came up during my research: Citizenship Counts, at http://citizenshipcounts.org/index.php/about/vision-statement/.

Divi Logan for EDUSHIRTS, Nashville and Chicago, ©2012.

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Nashville Nature: Naturally Every Day

Dateline Nashville, Tennessee: Featuring a fine listing of the good things that are natural in Nashville.

White-breasted Nuthatch in Algonquin Provincia...

White-breasted Nuthatch in Algonquin Provincial Park, Canada. This image is not upside-down. Français : Sittelle à poitrine blanche dans le parc provincial Algonquin, dans l’Ontario. Cette image est à l’endroit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just in our yard alone, for bird species we have had the following birds of prey: Peregrine Falcon, Northern Goshawk,
Cooper’s Hawk, Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl,  Red-tailed Hawk, and Barred Owl.

We have seen the following smaller birds that love to hang out in the berry-bearing shrubs, trees, and plants: Cedar Waxwing,
Black and White Warbler, Cape May Warbler,  Black-Capped Chickadee, Titmouse, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.Our usual visitors include the American Robin, Blue Jay, Cardinal, American Crow. We have also been visited by the Pileated Woodpecker, “Yellow-shafted” Flicker, Downy Woodpecker, Brown Thrasher, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,  Mourning Dove, White-throated Sparrow, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, the House Finch, Common Grackle, Dark-eyed JuncoRuby-crowned Kinglet,  Great Crested Flycatcher, and the White-breasted Nuthatch.

The loud songs of the Carolina Wren and the movements of the House Wren; the odd call of the Common Nighthawk, the stunning colors and calls of the American Goldfinch, the melodious trilling of the elusive Wood Thrush, and the call to tea of the Rufus-sided (Eastern) Towhee have also graced our landscape.

Unusual visitors include the Great Blue Heron, which one day landed on our roof. There have been possible sightings of Summer Tanager, Prothonotary Warbler, and American Redstart. Also a possible hearing of the call of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker- the sound described is so distinctive and it was in the Woodmont- Hillsboro area of Nashville. The call sounds like a toy trumpet, a high-pitched nasal yank, like a loud version of the eastern White-breasted Nuthatch, and that is exactly the sound I detected. A single note but very loud and close by one day many years ago. There are many tall, old trees in the area so it is a fine place for a large woodpecker to reside and find food. One sighting of Whooping Crane; possible sighting of Ivory Gull and also a Little Blue Heron. In the area are reports of other hummingbird species off course every so often (birds that probably should be at that time in California or other places west of Tennessee turn up in middle Tennessee!).

In the Nashville area, aside from the usual city birds of Mockingbird, European Starling, Pigeon (European Rock Dove), Turkey Vulture, Catbird and Canada Geese, you can also see the Green Herons (a family of them hung out in a tree in Centennial Park one year), the Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron (with their magnificent plumage), Kingfishers, Rough-legged Hawk, and the American Kestrel. You also see the Red-winged Blackbird, Ovenbird, Eastern Bluebird, Barn Swallow, Killdeer, American Coot, Merlin, Broad-winged Hawk, Northern Harrier, and Mallard Duck.

Also seen are coyotes, deer, red foxes, and raccoons. We also have an abundance of dragonflies. Species you might find in the Nashville area include the Gray Petaltail, the Common Green Darner, Comet Darner, Swamp Darner and Fawn Darner. You might also see the Shadow Darner, Ashy Clubtail, Cobra Clubtail, Eastern Ringtail, and the stunning Royal River Cruiser. Possibilities include as well the Widow Skimmer, the Twelve-spotted Skimmer, and the strikingly colored Spangled Skimmer and Eastern Amberwing.

English: Common Green Darner (Anax junius), bl...

English: Common Green Darner (Anax junius), blue form female, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yellow-crowned Night Heron flying over water.

Yellow-crowned Night Heron flying over water. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isn’t nature wonderful? Let’s all work together to keep our environment safe, clean, healthy, good and beautiful!

English: A female ruby-throated hummingbird (A...

English: A female ruby-throated hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) sipping nectar from scarlet beebalm (Monarda didyma). Français : Un Colibri à gorge rubis (Archilochus colubris) femelle butinant une fleur de Monarde (Monarda didyma). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2012.

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Climate Change: Observations and Insight

ENERGETIC TAILS AND ENERGIZED TALES

The inkling that something was not right in the wild world of weather happened in 1999. I had moved into my almost-hilltop bungalow in Nashville, and had a marvelous view all around. I could see to the horizon and the hills, and with a short walk to a slightly higher hill I had a stunning view for miles around, and photograph-worthy for certain sights.

One night not long after I was preparing for bed, I looked out a western window and saw lightning flashing white and frequently from an approaching storm. It was far enough away that thunder was not yet audible, and it was after 1o PM. I thought it odd, but stayed awake till well after midnight to make sure the bad weather passed. 1999 was the start of what I later realized was a change in the weather in that part of the world.

When I was younger, it seemed bad weather happened in the morning or early afternoon. It seemed rare to get tornado-producing storms late at night, as happened in 1999 and into 2003 and beyond. From my bungalow I would see lightning flashing from storms so distant no thunder could be heard, and there were spectacular storms that came from explosive systems of clashing fronts and dry lines and unstable air.

Oklahoma and points west were the marker for storms we would get in those years. Explosive is an understatement for the cells that invaded Tennessee, setting off sirens in the middle of the night, dropping hail, producing high winds that whistled through the bars of the storm door, hail that pounded the windows and sounded as though someone was trowing ice cubes at the panes, and generating greenish and bluish lightning that would sear the skies for an hour or more.

These were storms that, unless one was a very sound sleeper, would either awaken one or, if on to the weather reports, might keep me up to watch and make sure danger was past. Even in 2002 there was an unusual day for bad weather, and I documented some of that in still color photos.

The conditions that hung over Tennessee on Veterans Day weekend of 2002 produced gigantic storms. In the afternoon it was sunny in Nashville, and I was going about my chores in the bungalow. I had the news on and the reports kept talking about storms going on, and eventually I was intrigued and went outside to ascerain if I could see anything or if some storms was approaching Nashville. What I saw was stunning.

Nearly due east of Nashville was a massive storm with a high top in motion. It was so large I could actually see the clouds moving in a clockwise direction and that feature came out in one of my photos. I snapped more pictures of that storm, which was not even in Davidson County but about 70 or so miles away. Incredible power,wild beauty, and the striking forces of nature took over that day.

As evening came I went outside again to photograph storms south and east of Nashville. Sunset colors painted those large clouds with pink and gold, and fine features of the cumulus clouds were highly visible as the storms were so big. Nashville eventually had storms that night.

2003 was another year of massive storms. Oklahoma was hit again and endured significant damage. Tennessee had storms from one of the larger systems that year, and the sirens went off over and time again.

2004 was a strange year. First odd happening was the death of my younger brother in April. Things went from bad to worse in the week we planned to lay him to rest. We were preparing to drive to the Johnson City area for the funeral and other events, and we stepped out of my parents’ home. At once I sensed very heavy and humid air, the skies with a milky gray appearance and cloudy. We drove on to the home of my dad’s best friend, and still we had no idea of what we would encounter less than an hour later.

On the road to the airport to collect my cousin who was coming in from Houston, I happened to turn back and look around. To the northwest was a dark, huge, gigantic storm bearing down on us fast. Shades of 1998 hit me all over again, and I had the feeling that storm had to be tornadic. It was, and we barely made it to the airport before the bad weather bulled on in. Heavy rain started just before we exited the interstate, and the rain was so heavy the airport roof started to leak.

Now that roof is fine when the weather is dry and sunny- the view is clear as a bell and the scenery is hilly. You can see the air pattern come in and work as usual, but in severe weather the last place you want to be is under a glass roof with a huge expanse. Fortunately no one in our party was injured, and I could see the storm moving off into other counties. Seems the reports said a tornado was down in Williamson County, but at last it was out of our way and we could resume our drive. Naturally we were careful along the way, and we arrived safely.

I learned a lot from those storms between 1998 and 2004, and did one more thing before moving to Chicago. I taught my mom how to read the clouds, to know the signs of incoming bad weather, such as the anvil, strange colors, vivid lightning, and of course tuning in to the weather. A severe storm that barreled through one afternoon as we were at the office inspired me to do that. Mom is a native Texan but still I thought it a good thing to do to fine tune her knowledge of approaching bad weather. It served us well when she visited Chicago in 2005, as there was a severe storm in that week.

Hopefully we will not get caught out in any of those conditions again, but we know what to do if we are fortunate enough to be around safe places to go. The storm that came through Chicago the week mom visited was heralded by diagonal clouds with an unusual color, greenish in appearance. We returned from the grocery store and had the television on. A tornado warning was issued for Cook County. It took only a second for me to say, “This IS Cook County!” And downstairs we went to wait it out.

Since that incident, Chicago has had its share of bad weather. Tornado warnings have happened at least once a year since I moved here, and there have been storms that painted the skies with layered clouds stacked like plates, rotating majestcally and with greenish appearances. Another storm produced a line of green lightning and a tornado strike in the north of town.

Yet another storm was one painted in my memory, and it happened to come in while I was at the Field Museum. On a top floor I was looking west and northwest and there was a massive, moving cloud making a bee line to the city. I left the museum and went to the Loop, figuring it a safe place to be in the face of the incoming weather. I visited my boyfriend at his workplace and he knew the storm was coming. He figured I might be able to make it home on the Red Line before the storm hit, and I tried to do just that.

Only seconds after I started walking down Jackson Street I looked around as usual for vigilance, and looked down the street. I paused- the storm was coming in and lowering with a grayish-black heavy cloud. I turned and started back for the shop but I was almost pushed down the street by a sudden driving rain and wind, and barely made it to the store before the area darkened with the full force of the tornadic storm. I stayed far away as possible from the glassy entrance of the store, and thought I heard a nearby tornado siren.

I feared for anyone stuck on the elevated tracks at that point, or anyone at the airports watching that hit downtown. The EL is close enough to the row of shops along Wabash Street that had the winds been strong enough, they might have shoved a train over to the street and possible into the store. It was a relief when the storm finally ended and I skedaddled for home.

One more well-documented storm happened during baseball season. The game was in the evening, and the event started as normal. Now, it is usual for cameras to pan around to gather the game-time atmosphere, and one of those cameras caught a sight that brought out a comment from one of the Cubs regular announcers. Northwest of the city was a lightning producing cloud and the lightning was green. Green lightning made the announcer nervous and it made me nervous too. Then the storm came in, Wrigley Field emptied and another camera caught the empty ballpark and the tornado warning siren could be heard. Again it was time to take cover, and the complex basement became the safe haven for a while. Our area of the city sustained no obvious or severe damage, and it was good when the bad weather finally passed.

Take nothing for granted- when conditions are ripe, pay attention to the skies. Watch and listen, know what is going on and what you are looking at. Have a plan of action- where to go, what to take along. Be careful when going above ground when the all clear is given. There could be structures damaged, glass and debris in the streets, and electric lines down and live. Stay out of the way of emergency vehicles and obey authorities’ instructions.

Lessons learned, photographic memories made, and still there is that little part of me that wants to chase those storms across the south and the prairie, camera at the ready, watching and listening. Someday perhaps I might take one of those tornado safaris or join a chase group… but seeing the average storms that come through here is enough for me right now.

Interesting reference: Veslind, Priit J. The Hard Science, Dumb Luck, and Cowboy Nerve of Chasing Tornadoes. National Geographic, April 2004. Includes fine photographs by Carsten Peter.

Divi Logan and ®EDUSHIRTS, Nashville and Chicago, ©2004 – 2012.

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