I am on vacation in Puerto Rico where impermanence is everywhere i look. I feel distressed. Buildings blown to bits by hurricanes–Maria in 2017 and the less powerful, but slow-moving Fiona in 2022. Wrecked theme parks, billboards, and boats. The famous art museum of Ponce closed since the 6.4 earthquake in 2020 centered nearby.
As a cultural WASP, i just want to tidy things up. Yet the spiritual lesson is in letting things be. Look at the destruction. Be comfortable. Or rather, be comfortable with the discomfort of infrastructure working on a thin thread of acceptable.
Within sight of my Airbnb lies two miles (miles!) of dysfunctional oil refineries. Rusted pipes galore. Rusted oil tanks just waiting for the next hurricane to shatter them and blow their sidings out to sea.
I can also see 2 wrecked ships, rusting into the shallow sea in a nearby bay.
Yet, people still go to work. Fishermen fish. Families go to the beach on Sundays.
Things fall apart. And stay fallen apart.
And so will i.