Sundays are hard enough. Even after a lovely weekend down on the river with Glorious, and all the great food and amazing conversation that went with it, there is the return to the workday reality that always crushes my heart. Not even sitting with the page for the hours of the afternoon and evening are enough to reinflate the spirits.

And last night was accompanied by a darkness of another kind. A darkness far more threatening and dire. The sky. This was the storm that devastated Joplin, MO, fifty miles from Republic. The TV was full of it, given over to the tracking of the towering cell that cut through towns like hot knives through butter.

Much of Joplin is gone. Flattened. There will be many too many analogies on the news today about “cars tossed like toys” and homes “crushed as if by a giant’s foot” and “like a scene of nuclear devastation”; we don’t need another one here. 89 dead—and counting—should tell you enough of the story. Much of the town that was…isn’t.

The brilliant sunset that crept out from under the tail-end of the storm line, the sparkling double rainbow…cold comforts. This is blackness upon a blackness, the irredeemable helplessness of disaster, and the other, far lesser, of being suspended in a life lived out of necessity, not love. One feels bad about suffering in private amidst a greater and more important suffering-for-cause. Let the two live side by side. Let one exist to pay tribute to the other.

Joplin, I am sorry for your loss.