Now We Help

There’s not much left to be said that hasn’t been said or thought already. Even as I write this the ground from Tohoku to Tokyo still trembles with aftershocks and the tsunami swept land is still wet with salt water. The ramifications of the largest earthquake to ever strike Japan will reverberate through this island nation for many years to come.

Events like this strip away everything. Politics, religion, class, nationality, and ethnicity, it’s all gone and we stand looking at each other’s naked humanity and suddenly things that seemed complicated are simple, things that were muddled become clear, and we take stock of the binding reality that ties us all together on this shared journey we all make.

I watched the Twin Towers fall not knowing if my cousins had made it home from work that day. I stood on the Mississippi beach after Katrina, amidst the wreckage that the onslaught of wind and water had left behind. There’s a feeling of helplessness, grief, and anger. But more than that, there’s a deep burning desire to do something, anything, to help ease the burden off the shoulders of those who have lost the most.

This is a beautiful thing about the human condition. We may fight fight fight and argue about stupid shit like trickle down market strategies, which side to butter our toast, and fashion. But as this resounding shock hits us all we stop the bickering for a moment, shut up, and listen. Listen to the cries for help, to the strangeness of this eerie silence, and to the voice deep inside us all.

People are dead. People are hurt. People need help. We can sit idly by watching Youtube videos of cars being tossed about like toys or we can roll up our sleeves and pitch in. No matter the gesture, no matter how small, believe that it will be appreciated. We’ve compiled here multiple ways that we all can help even a little. Stand up and be counted along your brothers and sisters, your flesh and blood.

Thank you.

A 4 month old baby girl was ripped from her father’s arms by the water, only to be found days later and reunited with her parents. Thank you world.

Resources:
Fukuoka Now Lifeline: a new site I’ve helped produce with resources and information for donating, volunteering, and local fundraiser events.

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Still Shaking

The day after tomorrow is still tomorrow, but today Japan is still being rattled by aftershocks and tsunamis are still sweeping inland bringing boats and sea animals and moving buildings, cars, and bridges.

 

I’ve seen a lot of stuff that isn’t too far from where I live.

There’s a merchant vessel kilometers away from the ocean that’s resting in the middle of a forest.

There are entire buildings floating away.

Giant whirlpools are sucking down ships.

Great fires are burning a long the coast.

A baseball field by an estuary is filled with bits of wood that used to be buildings.

Railroad tracks are hanging off the sides of mountains.

Roads are cracked.

Bridges have fallen apart.

Cars have been crushed and mangled.

Towns are under water.

Stranded people are writing, “HELP” on the rooftops.

 

A woman was at work when the quakes began.  She managed to make it back home, but there’s nothing there.  Her house is gone.  Her neighbors’ houses are gone.  Actually, the entire small town she lived in is gone.  The only evidence that humans lived there are the bits of buildings and outlines of foundations still visible from the air.    In a matter of moments it was wiped off the map.

 

A nuclear reactor is leaking.

 

My friends for the most part are alright.  We’ve lost touch with one who was in Ibaraki.  There were bad tsunamis there.  I’m still worried.

 

One of my friends lost co workers.

 

One of my friends walked 14 miles to get home because the trains are down.

 

What terrible destructive power.