How can I explain this paradigm shift? I was going along, living my life, within a certain comforting flow of events and circumstances. Ups and downs, to be sure, but overall a sense that everything would be ok. Then suddenly – and it came at me with no warning – this major change. I was no longer sure… of anything. Maybe it was the economic downturn and general malaise and dissatisfaction; the overseas violence and uprisings. Or perhaps it was the odd and increasingly frequent natural disasters. A seemingly endless maudlin parade of surprises. A new reality operating at a completely different frequency that I didn’t understand. At some point when I wasn’t paying attention, I got out of sync. And here we are. Welcome to the new normal.
So it was really nothing out of the ordinary when, on this seemingly benign autumn weekend, a significant portion of the Northeastern U.S. would get a small taste of what everyday life is like for a quarter of the world’s population.