It’s been a while since I posted a “what’s going on” update, because as tough as winter was this year, spring has been… well, I’d say it was ten times worse.
In 2017, we had a “once in a hundred years” flood in Quebec and Ontario. Guess what happened again this year, except it was an even more massive catastrophe?
I wish I were kidding, but I’m not.
Two major floods occurred in the 70s, two years apart; I sincerely hope another forty years go by before history repeats itself.
In 2017, the river levels in my area peaked at 60.44 metres. 60.24 metres is where “exceptional flooding” levels begin.
This year, the river peaked on May 1st at 60.70 metres. It then receded a bit, and peaked again about a week later at 60.61 metres.
Our home didn’t get flooded in 2017, but this year, I was terrified it would. When the situation intensified, army vehicles were going up and down the street. Firemen knocked on all the doors in the neighbourhood, handing out “what to do in case your house floods and you have to leave” pamphlets. The rain kept pouring, and it was windy and bitterly cold. A veritable all-you-can-puke buffet of misery. On the news, we would learn that a dike had failed, flooding a town; that a dam might fail in another part of Quebec. States of emergency everywhere. Evacuations.
My neighborhood is actually quite a distance away from the river itself, but this year we experienced an unparalleled event.
My PTSD symptoms skyrocketed. I took my emergency backpack out of my closet and I had a suitcase and the cat carrier by the door, in case things quickly degenerated. I wept on the shoulders of neighbours. The stress and anxiety went on for weeks.
But my portion of the street is on higher ground, and the water stopped about a block away. The transversal street, farther down, and another nearby street got badly flooded, being lower than we are.
I wrote more extensively about all that was going on over on my Patreon.
Suffice it to say, it was phenomenally exhausting. On a few occasions, I felt like I was about to lose my mind. I wasn’t able to perform as Charlie at my teacher’s show because at that point, the floods were worsening and I began feeling seriously unwell. Sitting by the window, I saw city vehicles carrying load after load of sand bags all day long.
Let me tell you, I smoked a lot of cannabis to manage my exacerbated PTSD. It helped me remain at least partially calm. I noted down the river levels, checked the city’s Twitter account, refreshed my dumbphone for the latest local news. For a while, that was all I was able to do.
This morning, the river levels here are at 60.25 metres; we’re about to go down from “exceptional flooding” to “major flooding”—and it’s a huge improvement. This week, the sun will shine, the temperature will at last start becoming seasonal…
Right now, city vehicles are beginning to remove some of the sand bag piles.
I can’t begin to describe what an incredible relief it is to have things going back to normal, though it will take another couple of weeks before the river is once again within its banks.
I’m going to rest and take care of myself this summer. I will be writing Masterful this summer as well, but this reclusive hermit crab will be quieter and even more reclusive than usual.
Last week, I began playing my violin again, and oh, how good it felt. While the flooding was going on, I couldn’t play. I could hardly concentrate on anything.
At the moment, I’m recovering and recuperating.
Yesterday, though, I did something that required more energy, but it was a wonderful thing: I was interviewed by the charming and urbane Reverend Campbell on his show Speak of the Devil.
I promised him I’d be on camera next time; this time, speaking was the most I could manage. I think I succeeded in being somewhat articulate, despite my going in a dozen different directions (typical), now and then losing sight of the connections I was attempting to make (typical!). This is one of the reasons my preferred mode of expression/communication is the written word: I ponder quietly for quite some time, and my thoughts flow more smoothly, in greater detail and depth, when I write than when I speak (especially spur of the moment speaking). But Adam is such a lovely individual and gifted interviewer, he made it easy. Time went by quickly, and we could only touch upon much of what we discussed!
You can listen to the entire interview here:
In coming weeks, I’ll be focusing on Masterful, on Patreon posts and second/third tier envelopes, and I’ll be doing a couple of photo sessions (my 50th birthday is coming up in June, so I want to take new portraits to celebrate)… I’ll also focus on tranquility, playing my violin, enjoying my lair, creating art (such as getting back to my clay).