Monday, March 21, 2011

Distracting world

I've been really distracted this past week by news and pictures of the earthquake off the coast of Sendai in norther Japan last week. I think that it happens with more or less every season change, but I always get pangs of nostalgia when I see the first cherry blossoms of spring. It's a trite response, but it truly was a fabulous time of year in Japan. Spring rolls around and people emerge from their cold, kerosene-ridden houses and head for the cherry groves.

I have no idea what it must be like to be back in Japan right now, but the whole event has left me with a strange feeling of disorientation and longing to be back there. We never got a chance to really explore the north of Japan, and Nagano was about as far inland as one can get in Japan. There was an earthquake centered off of Niigata Prefecture, about 80 miles northwest of where we were, and I recall thinking that it was mostly just a thrill. Not so thrilling for the 18,000 confirmed dead this time.

I think that some of the most compelling images I found were in the before and after pictures on this Australian website. What a loss, though I have faith that the Japanese values of co-dependence and stalwart determination will serve them well in the coming months and years of rebuilding.

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