Today at a kid's 11th bday party I met a guy who has lived through 5+ lava flows here on Big Island.
In 1960 a tsunami destroyed his home and his father's business.
He told me that when others run away, he thinks about what his family went through and then he runs in to help.
Today, Friday, is my last shift at the volunteer kitchen. My heart is falling apart. I am not one to indulge in human emotions. I hate this.
I am SO lucky. There are people I've met in that kitchen who watched lava take their homes.
The owner of the restaurant we're cooking at is also displaced; he could be open for business but he's letting us serve the evacuation shelter instead.
The new normal includes being asked "Are you displaced?"
I've answered "yes" now, several times, without any added feelings. The other person sometimes says "I'm sorry" or, often enough: "Yeah, me too."
And Fissure 8 continues to send a plume of smoke over us, way up high.
And life goes on. I am incredibly lucky.
I did want to scream at the judgmental Unemployment officer yesterday when he was interviewing me on the phone. I was also disappointed by the Post Office (getting a P.O. Box is near impossible without a physical address).
This is some real shit.
And again, life goes on. And I am still incredibly lucky.