August 13 – after the storm

Wednesday August 13 —

Here’s the lead story this morning for Crain’s Detroit Business on line.

Good morning, Detroit. The business community’s lifeguard is on duty. Here is what you should know as you get in your car — and we hope yours still runs — and head to work, albeit on a more indirect route. Crain’s story >>>

“a more indirect route.”   Good line for this morning when the huge system has moved on east and north, the winds stream in from the Northwest, our happiest weather direction, the air feels rinsed clean.

A friend landed at Metro about 11:00 last night and I didn’t want to guess wrong about closed freeways.   I turned to the State of Michigan’s M-DOT interactive highway map  ( and began by enlarging a normal airport route (the Lodge to 94) and looking at the orange barrel icons which offer pretty up to date word about traffic conditions.  I 94 closed between Greenfield & Michigan both ways.  So let’s try I96 to the Southfield; another orange barrel tells me that The Southfield is closed both ways between Ford and I-94.   But there doesn’t seem to be any trouble on Telegraph.  MDOT’s assistance worked.  To the airport on time, by a more indirect route.   Almost all those roads were clear of flooding.    Not so a day earlier.  The longest drive home from campus Monday, that I heard about, was 5 hours between McNichols and Warren.  Lots of stories of battered cars and basements and campus elevators.   A hammer of a storm.

But when I pulled up my blinds this morning and saw sun dancing with the trees outside my window, the storm has passed, an elixir.   Of course, beauty and weather-relief do not heal all wounds —
—        not all the storm damage is repaired;
—        another young black man, Michael Brown, shot dead in the street by a police officer in Ferguson Missouri;
—        Yazidi people driven from their homes in Northern Iraq by well-armed fanatics who exult in their genocide on Youtube.

Sheer beauty can look inadequate for repairing violent storm damage.  But I doubt it.  Beauty does not deceive when we find more spring in our step and smiles in our eyes.  Its work is reminding us that deep down, under the exhausting burdens of our adult commitments, lives a wellspring of sacred grace.

Blesses as we absorb storm damage and turn into today.


john st sj

Today’s Post

William Carlos Williams understood about life-weariness and beauty’s restorative powers.   Try reading it aloud once or twice.


The Manoeuvre

I saw the two starlings
coming in toward the wires
But at the last,
just before alighting, they

turned in the air together
and landed backwards!
that’s what got me —
to face into the wind’s teeth.

William Carlos Williams

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