Medium Short: Facing Powerlessness

Pedaling in storms and other points along the path

B. Lorraine Smith
6 min readJul 14, 2023
Huge thunderstorms powered through the area yesterday. The storms: beautiful, dramatic. The humans: powerless as ever. We pedal on. (Photo by me, July 13, 2023)

Welcome to the latest Medium Short, a weekly accountability practice highlighting what I’m up to along the unmarked and occasionally flooded trail to #IndustrialHealing. Reminder: all my Medium articles are linked for free here.

I don’t remember being afraid of much as a kid. Spiders? Nifty little critters! Heights? Cool view! But thunder and lightning? Pure, abject, unconsolable terror. To this day thunder and lightning hurtle me into high alert mode like a horse ready to bolt.

But I’ve been working on busting up ossified narratives, in myself and others. Saying, “I am terrified” over and over is akin to instructing myself to be terrified. This needs to change as it helps nothing, even if it feels justified.

Warnings of major storms, flooding, and tornados were blaring through the phone alert system throughout the afternoon yesterday.

But I had an appointment that I didn’t want to miss (full disclosure: at the gym). Life goes on. No sense being petrified and paralyzed.

I studied the weather radar maps, timing my 10-minute bike journey so I could travel between bursts of storm activity. And…



B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact.