Storm systems have a variety of results. Last night’s storm brought us some enhanced sleet. It brought golf-ball-sized hail not all that far away. How far away? The same distance that Projects are from Palaces. The buffer zones of guarded gates and tinted windows do not increase the distance of interconnection.

Storm systems scatter debris according to the meteorologic and geologic conditions. Other natural disasters, such as earthquakes and plagues, follow this same general model of responding to and taking advantage of external realities. All these have rules yet unknown to us, but they are random only from a perspective of this moment.

Other storms have the potential of internal limits according to the reigning authority at the time and policies enacted or denied. The results of a capitalist economic system and military uniformity (efficiency behind assembly lines and dictators) seem not to have random outcomes. Public storms seem to always result in the poor being poorer and the rich being better off.

It is more difficult to see how public storms over discriminatory norms reduce the flexibility of common good to cover all within and add an extra layer of protection by strengthening the environment without. When such flexibility fails because of too many barriers and not enough bridges, a joyfully confident stride falters into a walker, a Lazy-Boy®, and, finally, six pallbearers. The formation and decline of these storms are years and generations in the making and failing.

Part of the grief from falling apart is knowing how little it would have taken to resist and rebound from a destructive pattern. It would have taken more as time went on, and a lack of current exercise of good judgment, seven generations long, eventually ends in poor and then inadequate balance. Whether a little earlier or more later, the current cost is on the verge of being too high to rebalance connections.

As our public storm is still gathering force, may our liturgists plan a national dirge and language educators prepare next-needed second language curricula.