“You are not going out with that boy unless his parents are driving and that's that. I'm not just Spitting Grits here, young lady!”

. . . My father, John Thomas Cravey, USAF, to me in 1956.

Raging Chaos

I had been suffering from a rage for order -- a need to clean my house, pile things up for a yard sale, steam-vac rugs, wash windows.

Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a horrendous nightmare was visited upon Japan: An 8.9 earthquake followed by a tsunami whose waves reached 30 feet in many places along the eastern shoreline.

And as I type, the nightmare worsens as the seconds tick by: the globe, not just Japan, but the globe, may suffer from a multi-nuclear reactor meltdown. As I type, I can’t shake CNN’s reporting that reactors 4, 5, and 6 are now in serious trouble. Six. Six reactors. Six potential meltdowns. According the AP wire this evening, “some radiation” was detected in Tokyo, 150 miles to the south of the nuclear plant housing these six reactors.

I am now frozen. I don’t really know what to say about anything.

Three things keep whirling around in my head as I Windex the wall mirrors in my foyer and dining rooms: one concept and two events. I first met the concept of a Rage for Order in graduate school when we got to Wallace Stevens in the Modern American Poetry course. Next, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the sites of the first uses of atomic bombs, which effectively ended World War II.

And Krakatoa. On August 27, 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa, that was once located in the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java in Indonesia in the Indian Ocean, exploded, blew up, and disappeared. “Exploded” and “blew up” do not capture what it was like, what really happened.

In the next post to Spittin’ Grits, I will tell you what I found out about Krakatoa.

Meanwhile I will go on washing windows to try to quiet this rage for order I’m feeling.

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