I'm in Santa Rosa, CA this week. It is like being in a nesting doll - a living breathing nesting doll.
I don't even know how to articulate it.
In October the area was hit with the "Tubbs" Fires. It's January and the impact of the devastation is still palpable. Not where I'm staying and working - it looks untouched. It isn't singed or scorched. But it's a pocket. It's a spot of normal in a reeling abnormality of destruction. Everyone I know here has talked about the new layer of impact - community wide PTSD. If your house didn't burn, maybe where you worked did - maybe you escaped both but XX number of your good friends are homeless.
I can't really find the language to express the ripple effects -
So nesting doll. I'm here in this city that is normal and abnormal paradoxically simultaneously. And I'm teaching physical self-defense, a little ConCom, a little Violence Dynamics, a little Krav, in this mismash that shouldn't work...but does. Teaching a group of people who "have to" come to the training and the research on mandatory programming in any kind of rehabbing (including the whole idea that prison should be rehab of a sort) consistently reports mandatory stuff doesn't work. But this seems to.
And the people in my classes are in the bigger long term program that is voluntarily mandatory because being IN the program is voluntary but participating in the different aspects of the program once you are IN...is mandatory. And so the people who show up to work with me for two days didn't have a say in it.
And they all have a metric ton of life they are working through, including addiction. Violence is an up-close and personal experience for the majority - both on the giving and receiving end of the violence spectrum. So there's a lot of conversation and experience of PTSD in the program tucked inside a city that kind of has PTSD.
Nesting dolls. Nothing profound to say about any of this. Just noticing and wondering about it. And fascinated once again by the crazy capacity humans have to adapt and adapt and adapt again. There's a continuum or a scale in how humans measure adaptability ...healthy to unhealthy to not-at-all.
But being here in the midst of a great deal of adaptation in action, all I can think of is --
no wonder we made it to the top of the food chain - we just don't know how to die, do we?
It's a figurative statement, haven't met an immortal human yet and we all eventually die and sometimes we die in tragedy -
at the collective though? we don't die easily. We should - but we don't.