Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan. My Thoughts Are With You.

Thursday, my heart sank.
I saw the water as it rushed ashore and I felt powerless.

8.3   8.8   8.9    I doubt it makes a difference the actual magnitude when you are in the midst of  swaying buildings and falling debris.  Your only thoughts are "Holy Crap!" and "How do I get out of this alive."  Heck, those were my thoughts when I was in the "Great Quake of 89" in the San Francisco Bay Area.  And it was only a 7.1.  And I was about 25 miles away from the epicenter.  I was afraid for my life during and physically ill from the shaking after.  I can only imagine how much more intense it was in Japan.  I mean, earthquakes are survivable, but if you are caught in the wrong place during one, there is nothing you can do.  It's not like they come with warnings. 

Unlike tsunamis.

Plenty of warning.  Not much in the way of surviving if you are in the way of a large wave. Or, as we saw in Japan, fast rolling water.  That just blew my mind!  The water just ... spread out.   Like an assimilating amoeba, absorbing everything in its path.  It looked like a harmless puddle spreading across the land, until it would topple a building like it was nothing more than a sandcastle.  Or you'd focus on the debris it was pushing along and realize it was a fleet of cars!! 

Were there people in those cars?  Where there people in those buildings?  My mind went there many times and for my own sanity, I lied to myself and said, "No.  Not possible.  They had warnings.  They headed the warnings.  Why wouldn't they?"  Then they'd show the water creeping towards a town.  With a road.   With cars on it.   Cars driving both ways as if they weren't sure where to go, or worse... didn't realize the water was coming.  I did all I could NOT to scream at the TV!!  A few cars turned around, but it didn't matter.  The water was coming from both directions.  What happened to those people?  Did they make it?  Again, I lied to myself. 

Why did I keep watching that night?   People describe it as watching a train wreck, you just can't look away.  Literally, a morbid curiosity.  I finally forced myself to change the channel and watch reruns of  "The King of Queens" in the attempt to get my mind off it.

But those in Japan, didn't have that luxury.  It made me feel guilty.  Those in Hawaii didn't have that luxury either.  It was headed their way.  And then I heard it might reach us here in CA.  I wasn't as worried for my fellow Californians.  We had more warning than anyone else.  What killed me were the morons who just had to line up near the beaches to see the waves!  Seriously?!?!?  You're being told that a tsunami is coming and you purposely get in the way?!?  We really have a false sense of security here in the US.  Not even WATER can touch us!  WTF?  Do they not remember Hurricane Katrina?!?   Then I heard a man was swept out to sea because he was taking pictures of the waves.  *shakes head*  There was even a warning that the waves may reach up to 6 ft high and he still got in the way!!  Not to speak ill of the dead, but that had Darwin Winner written all over it.   Turns out they were wrong.  The wave was 8 ft.  No out-running that!!

One thing really bugged me about they way some of my fellow Californians reacted.  Japan was hit hard.  They are facing a potentially massive death toll, many are missing, and the damage will take a long time to clean up and recover from.  And now, they face the possible effects from the nuclear plant exploding.  Life as they know it will not be the same for quite some time.  Here in CA, we were barely tapped in comparison.  (Here's what really bugged me) Many of the people interviewed here came across and shallow and materialistic!  "Oh, my boat!  I lost my boat!"  (not a direct quote) Seriously?!?  Did you live there?  Unless you lived there, who gives a fuck?!?!  One chick said she was "devastated" by damage.   Really?   It's a boat.  Sure, it cost you a pretty penny, but still!   THAT'S.  NOT.  DEVASTATION!!"   You wanna see true devastation?   Watch the videos of Japan.  Gain some prospective! 

*steps off the soap box*

Please.  If you can.  Donate.  Japan is going to need all the help they can get from all of us world wide.  The easiest thing you can do is text a donation.  Quick, easy and virtually painless.  You can donate $10 to either Salvation Army by texting either "QUAKE" or "JAPAN" to 80888 or to the Red Cross by texting "REDCROSS" to 90999.  Both will bill your ten dollar donation to your phone bill and both are tax deductible.  

Blessings to all affected, even here in the US, but especially in Japan.


Anonymous said...

Many people want to help out, but other than money or being an aid worker, there is another way to help by sending words of support and hope. You can send your message online to school children and emergency workers in Japan via Hope Letters at Hope Letters will translate them into Japanese and deliver them to local organizations for posting/broadcasting (when it is practical and effective to do so). Help give hope!

Anonymous said...

Amen. And the devastation continues- as the Japanese must evacuate and fear for their health, people are buying up iodine pills here. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written my friends. It is a sad day for many, many people. :(