The piece above, “Upside Down”, is one I did in 1998, at the time I was reflecting on the housing market and storms. Having spent much of my youth in Oklahoma I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent storms there. As a child I spent many hours in our “fraidy hole” as we called it and once I remember a tornado going over our house, it sounded like a train running over us. We were fortunate it didn’t touch down. The little town in Eastern Oklahoma, Wilburton, where we lived had a school that was destroyed by a devastating tornado in 1960, much like the one in Moore, Oklahoma. If you are interested in helping the tornado victims I found a great site, OK Strong, that has tee shirts for the relief fund. I ordered mine!
Once while visiting my parents we made a trip to the Cherokee Nation to see a play about the Trail of Tears. We were staying in a little resort on a lake outside of Tahlequah and it started storming. I awoke in the middle of the night from the storm and wondered outside to see what was going on. It was perfectly still outside but when I looked 360° around it was a wall of lightening in the distance. It really terrified me, I raced up to our hotel room and awoke my mother because in the late hours of the night I thought the world was coming to an end. She looked over at me and said, “Honey go back to sleep, you’ve been gone along time.”
Here’s a poem I found in her papers about “weather” in Oklahoma. You have to remember too that the dust bowl was no picnic!
Last night a girl was picked up by the wind
and blown away.
She was in a field, perhaps thinking that she should
run to shelter.
(Maybe she was already running.)
But I think that she was just standing, gazing
at the clouds,
Feeling the electricity in the air,
Watching the blackness in the sky,
Sensing the power of the coming winds.
Perhaps a cottonwood was lit by lightning
And she could feel the thunder rolling in her breast,
And as the winds lifted her up, she thought,
“At last I am free…of this town, the plains, the dust.
I will fly with the wind to who knows where.”
And for a moment she was in the air.
But the winds left her far behind, discarded in another field
not far away.
Flying with the wind, she found, exacts too high a price
by Carla Chlouber © Chlouber Estate