Sunday, March 14, 2021

A Parable Of... Life.

I have a huge respect for sea/ocean. I have to, it is my education and some of the most important life experiences, some of them seeing my friends die, or me and my ship almost going down in storm of immense power, being formative for my outlook on life. I respect nature in general. I also was "blessed" of being in major earthquakes--so, respect for nature in general comes with the territory. Living in the Pacific Northwest--a stunningly beautiful and dangerous place--it is only natural to expect a "big one", meaning earthquake, and a tsunami, which will come. I recall when buying a house I told to our real estate agent that the house shouldn't be on the coastline, or, if close to it, it should be at the elevation of at least 60-70 feet. At least. The realtor was disappointed, he just happened to have one house "literally within a quarter of a mile from the beach" and thought that this was such a find. We flatly rejected the offer, however within our means. 

Being almost 2 miles from the beach, the elevation of our house being almost 40 meters above the ocean level, we, at least, have some chances of surviving a real major tsunami which can reach a stunning height of 35-40 meters while cresting at the shoreline. There is no question of if, it is merely a question of when, as Japan learned it a hard way in 2011. I didn't follow the price dynamics of the beach houses in our state but I am sure they are still sought out properties, which, for any normal person who is self-aware are extremely undesirable because of: 

So, normal people are asking questions why this moron still says that this is "a great place to live". Human idiocy, obviously, and ignorance are untreatable. Once they are supplemented with large disposable incomes, being a fool may even become fashionable. 

There is nothing "surprising" about ocean. Never was, and if one thinks that the world ocean exists for our pleasure only--they better get a real assessment of their own "significance", especially relative to what not just wind-swell of huge waves, but real tsunamis can do. 

And how unprepared and unaware (a euphemism for human stupidity and vanity) can people be? Here is a classic case of "ah, this is the first time it happened". No shit.  
You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes. The reason I concentrated on that is because in a sense these "real estate" mishaps, or, rather, mindless fuck-ups are parables for human arrogance and unawareness in a face of forces many of which are beyond our control. For many, building house on the ocean beaches is tantamount to playing Russian Roulette with their own lives and the lives of those around them. I recall 12-13 or so years ago sitting in the house of one of my acquaintances. It was a nice house and it was on the beach in  "literally 10 feet" from the water, as proud owner of the house wanted to emphasize. I kept silent, although she admitted that during the storm it floods somewhat. My question, never voiced, was--how much time you and your family will have to escape when even anticipated every year tsunami, which is a euphemism for flooding, of merely 10 meters comes. And it WILL come. 

One of my favorite movies, due to excellent duo of Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain, is Take Shelter. The ending is what makes it a gem. 

And makes us ask ourselves a question if we, far from being paranoid, did all we could to be ready for tsunami when it comes, and it is coming. You don't want to find yourself as Samantha (Jessica Chastain) having only one thing to say seeing a wall of water rolling towards you--OK. It is not OK and it is good, from time to time, to give oneself a slap in the face to recognize that also we are very small and insignificant in a larger scheme of things, it doesn't mean that we should be stupid and we have a say in what reality we want to reside.

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