While authorities may say the worst of it is over, for those experienced in trauma, we know ‘the worst of it’ is just the beginning. We know the hard work is the act of reconciling the world after the trauma strikes.

As power returns, and train service resumes, the everyday work of dealing with what happened is now upon us. Recovery can take months, years, lifetimes, and generations. While a Hurricane can be understood as a moment in time, it also unearths larger inequalities that have long been around. Why is the Stock Market running, but not gas stations on Staten Island? And why did Bloomberg even think it was a good idea to go ahead with the Marathon?

Part of what makes recovery difficult is witnessing all the unfairness. Beyond the inequality we as humans create, there the awesome power of nature. Why is one house without power, while the one next door is fine?

Even in our own neighborhood of Chelsea we must face conflicting feelings. How do we reconcile the joy that artist member Patrick Webb's current show at The Painting Center went unharmed, and is available for viewing as of this afternoon while other spaces such as Printed Matter are closed due to damage, with some galleries maybe never to reopen.

We at Visual AIDS are grateful that we will soon be able to resume our work using art to remind the world that AIDS is not over, and at the same time are hearts are broken that The Ali Forney Center for LGBT youth in Chelsea has been destroyed.

And then there is the guilt. What if yours was the house that went untouched? Or your friends are volunteering, yet you find yourself without the strength to get out of bed?

These thoughts, questions, and little ways of seeing the world add up, and are unspoken parts of recovery we have to both endure and use as fuel. If you know AIDS, then you know about injustice, and the power of community and anger to change the world. We do not have to reconcile these things, rather we witness them and move forward with an eye to the past and the present.

As the coming week unfolds, take care of yourself and others. Be gentle. Don't rush recovery if you don't have to, it takes time. For some surviving the storm is the easy part.

- Ted Kerr