Saturday, March 19, 2011

Drawing Breath... A Shift Towards a New Normal

Well - it's Saturday night, and there's been no serious "worse news" coming out of Japan, other than the mounting death toll (over 7,000 confirmed dead, and a growing list of the missing now exceeding 11,000). There's also been the discovery of higher than expected levels of radiation in the milk and spinach from the Ibaraki and Fukushima. And of course there's the discovery that the Miyagi prefecture was moved a whole 5.3 meters laterally, and 1.2 meters down. I think given the whole tsunami thing, if you had to move in any direction - up would have been the most desirable. On the human front, the cold weather has been causing all sorts of dramas - not least the outbreak of influenza that's claimed the lives of some of those that escaped the horror of the quake and tsunami.

On the upside, radiation seems to have stabilised and temperatures at the power plant seem more manageable after an amazing series of actions to pump water into the four reactors. Also power has been restored to the reactors - at least some of them. It's hard to see that there'd be much left to work after all that's happened. Also, work is about to commence to construct the first 200 pre-fabricated houses as a starting point to reconstructing people's lives. And it's with these small steps that life reverts to a new form of normal. It's to be sure that normal will be a whole different type of creature than it was a little over a week ago.

And whilst we've had our own dramas (on a much different scale) in terms of working out whether we're going to Japan or not... we feel a small level of calm spreading, like the dawn's light, across our emotional landscape.

To remind us all of the real situation, a M6.1 quake hit the already ravaged Ibaraki Prefecture just a couple of hours ago.

Normal will almost certainly involve a more uncomfortable relationship with the earth for the weary and worn Japanese of the Tohoku region of Japan. May they find some pause in their own struggles, that they too may draw breath.

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