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Bart Everson

Experiencing the Wrath of Ida and the Bliss of Gaia

September 12, 2021

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By Bart Everson
September 12, 2021

If only my back didn’t ache, I could really enjoy this hurricane.

Such were my thoughts as the outer bands of Hurricane Ida bore down on my home in New Orleans.


Underneath it all, I attended to something I can only reference obliquely, something for which I lack the vocabulary but which seems of supreme importance. There’s an ineffable joy of being, which permeates all consciousness, or so it seems to me. Perhaps I should call it the bliss of Gaia, because it comes through her, as does everything that makes us what we are. Perhaps Gaia is the local embodiment of some deeper cosmic principle. Such speculations are above my pay-grade. But we can feel this vibrant thrum of joy between each thought, between each breath, if only we relax and remember.

I realize that my testimony comes from a place of immense privilege. I’m aware of the deep suffering all around me, permeating our society and even Gaia, herself. Many horror stories came to light after Ida passed. Eight hundred nursing home residents were shuffled off to a warehouse that flooded, where they languished, some lacking medication, others sitting in their own feces, some dying.

I do believe the bliss of Gaia is available to all, perhaps, even especially, to those in extremis. But to speculate on such matters, and to pursue studies that help me remember this bliss in spite of the many constant glittering distractions and barbed traps of modern life—that is surely a privilege.

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Experiencing the Wrath of Ida and the Bliss of Gaia

September 12, 2021
Bart Everson

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