Loving the Volcano, or, Rather: Loving the Frankenstorm, from Afar

It’s a bit surreal watching, from Iceland, all these reports of impeding weather doom along the U.S.’ East Coast. Strangely enough, reading about the nearing “Frankenstorm” and all the possible fallout from Sandy’s tour through the States has been the thing that has made me miss New York the most since I’ve been in Iceland. (I now have a bit of an idea, mom, what it was like for you the first few years after I moved to New York…nerve-wracking, for sure. And I’m admitting it to The Internet, so, you know–you won the long game…)

But while I’m biting my nails on behalf of all my loved ones up and down the Eastern seaboard, and while I’ve been refreshing my New York Times storm-tracker page regularly to see what, if anything, has actually happened yet, I have to commend that nothing-phases-us, laugh-in-the-face-of-danger attitude of my beloved New Yorkers. Whether stocking up on provisions (canned goods, water, and lots and lots of whiskey), cuddling up with thick historical tomes about, hypothetically, the origins of the Spanish Inquisition, or joking about the benefits of a long weekend even while stranded with no transportation for who-knows-how-long (it’s second time in 14 months the subway and bus system has been completely shut off, for those of you who don’t know–but only the second time in 108 years), you’re all wonderful, resilient people, and I’m thinking about you and miss you very much.

I will also observe that this almost (or seemingly) blasé attitude toward what-may-befall-you (storms, power outages, Godzilla) appears to be one of the most prominent characteristics that New Yorkers share with Icelanders, who, as I’ve mentioned, thrive on a sort of understated acceptance of their own weather/nature disasters, i.e. volcanic eruptions. The lesson is, we see, that after general preparedness, you just can’t spend too much time worrying about these things before they happen. Because there’s nothing you can do about it.

So, for those of you New Yorkers (and East Coasters) who are not only on the internet, but reading here: cheers and skál! I wish you all well, but have every faith that if this year’s disaster merits all of the frightening predictions (unlike last year’s hurricane), that you’ll all make it through as best as could be hoped.

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