To help transition Japan to a peace promoting post-carbon country while enjoying every step of the process.
僕のビジョンは、祖国日本で、平和文化を育みポストカーボン(Post-Carbon) 社会を促進してゆく事です。

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Update on Tokyo Earthquake Living part 1

Daily aftershocks persist,
its hard to feel safe at any moment.
Two nights ago,
as we finally drifted toward sleep
an aftershock shook us back up.
I was too tired and confused to make a move,
I just lied there waiting for it to end.
It seems pretty unlikely we would be able to escape in a serious earthquake anyway.
Maybe if we had a 30 minute warning.
Wouldn't that be nice.

three of us were having a nice dinner
trying to enjoy life as usual
hoping to forget the ongoing disaster.
We kept the TV off,
since it's usually on all day,
recycling the little information from Tepco and the government
that feed our fear and insecurity while occasionally warning us of an aftershock or radiation levels.
Suddenly the world shakes,
the house felt like jello
the hundreds of things that usually stand lifeless in the room
rattled and jiggled with excitement.
We hurried under the table
crouched, on the second floor of an old flimsy house
that shakes noticeably even when a bus passes by.
I have little faith it would withstand a serious earthquake.

As I finish chewing my food under the table
I think of how unpleasant it would be to be stuck under the table
if the house crashed down.
Or if it really makes a difference.
I'd rather be crushed whole than part way.
Maybe thats an irresponsible thing to say.
Its hard to think clearly these days.
Nothing seems stable.

At this point,
I can't tell if the house is really shaking,
or if I'm imagining it.
It never feels solid.
I dream of earthquakes.
I need to breath more.

A different kind of story.
I had a dentist appointment yesterday.
Its weird to go about daily life at a time like this,
but modern life has no time to wait for uncertainty.
Work, shopping, school, transportation go on,
with a fresh flavor of anxiety and inconvenience.
Maybe a nice change from the endlessly mundane routine many suffer from.

As I walk toward the dentist's office,
I imagine an aftershock hitting us while I have drills in my mouth.
It sort of humors me,
and I smile thinking "that would definitely suck." :)

As I walk in to the office they tell me,
we have 20 minutes before the planned blackout.
In perhaps the most dramatic medical operation of my life,
the dentist hurries to treat a cavity repeating,
"it will be bad if we run out of power before I finish."
Thats really what I want to hear,
as I lie there in a very vulnerable position.
I console myself with the thought of a bonus aftershock hitting us.
ExTreMe DeNTiStRy!

Doctor asks the assistant,
"how much time before the blackout"
"7 minutes"
"what?! already?!!"
She seemed to speed up her drilling.
"how much time now?"
"3 minutes"
"only 3 minutes? it will be really bad if we don't finish. oh man...."
Thanks, that really helps.

I hate going to the dentist.
But, this time it was quite entertaining.
It felt like a tense medical drama episode.
I'm glad I went.
Better than feeling uncomfortable at home,
failing to respond to the aftershocks in time,
watching non-stop news about what is happening and what could happen.

They finished right at the deadline, 3:20!

The power never went out.
Turns out they had the wrong day.


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  2. That is just crazy, adapting in some way to the pace of the business life, that things must go on in a bizarre shift to incorporate fragments and mutations of the geological, and infrastructural, bleeps, to punctuate the everyday sense of the normal. Here in Austria, and France too we are sort of fixated on the latest recycling of news through the bbc or ny times or something coming through nhk by way of al jazeera or something local that puts an especially localized spin, like how it affects the nuclear industry in France or France is evacuating its citizens etc. It is all very disturbing since the first news of the problems at Fukushima, which involves so much human error whereas the other parts of the disaster easier to understand. Like Japan just moved nearly three meters. I am so mesmerized, and saddened, and some of us a bit outraged. My friends here say the Japanese are so fatalistic and accepting, but maybe I sense that in your tone too, but I am also reminded of the tough resistant anti nuclear activism in Japan. Thanks for your humorous post. I think of the earthly life in the hills and those amazing rice terraces with Cherry and peach blossoms.