I tend to think that when I was younger the number of natural worldwide disasters were fewer than what we have seen over the last few years. Tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions… But I know I am wrong and it only seems as though these shattering occurrences have increased because the news coverage is instantaneous and live and in colour, and broadcast over so many channels all day long. The footage of this latest disaster in Japan brings about a two-fold response – horror and amazement at the sheer power of the force behind the destruction. It is exemplified still further when you see huge buildings, aeroplanes and bridges swept aside by a running sheet of water. Percy Shelley‘s Ozymandias always comes to mind and all my numerous trivial problems are swept aside as easily.
In the aftermath, where it looks as though an errant child has emptied their dirty toybox all along the streets, I cannot imagine how one would go about recovering a livelihood. I cannot imagine what one does to reclaim loved ones. There phone coverage was affected so there were no last frantic calls of hope or goodbye. A country completely geared up for earthquakes was thrown to its knees by a tidal wave. Not one wave of destruction, but two, the second fiercer and annihilating, takig complete advantage of the weakened state of the earthquake-proof structures.
I spoke of Terry Pratchett‘s Nation in a previous blog and the utter desolation that followed it. In that book a solution was created, a livelihood and community reformed, a rescue was mounted and the heroine reunited. But there was heartache too. Ficiton allows for solutions, creates opportunities.
We have become so reliant on the material trappings of our society that scenes such as those witnessed over the last day or so highlight our complete dependence on the easily accessible. Many mind is awhirl trying to think about how I would cope. How would I find shelter, water, food for my children? And I would have to compete against others for the same meagre comforts as they attempted to rebuild their lives.
My thoughts and wishes go out to all those people who have been affected, are still affected even years later, and hope that the proper aid gets to them soon. Please, please dig deep and give something, especially if it is time to fundraise.