Monday, March 14, 2011

The Wait

It's absolutely insane. Going back to work and trying to act "normal" helps, but random things make me tear up. It's horrible being so close but so unable to help.

The wait is the worst part.

News fatigue has really set in. Yuko, my wife, is stronger than I am. also, She doesn't show her fears despite being sick for the last couple of days. I guess that's how people here deal with the stress. Looking around the school today and watching the teachers, I can see the same behavior. People acknowledging the earthquake happened but not discussing it.

Yuko is tired of all the media hype--which is no where the level of hype that is going on in the states. She doesn't want to see any more destruction. There's a point where the news we need to know ends and voyeurism beings.

"Besides NHK the other channels should go back to regular broadcasting." she said.

She fears the sound of the helicopters is drowning out the shallow voices of anyone trapped in the rubble. I gather that they banned most helicopters from the sky above Christchurch after the earthquake there.

In passing around the house I've been wondering aloud about volunteering and going up to the quake damaged areas. Last night Yuko said that she wants me to stay near the house.

"What would I do with out you around?" She wondered aloud fearing the consequences of a earthquake hitting Kansai. That really centered me. What would we do? What if I was at work? How would we meet up? What about our daughter Mia?

I'm at work. There's not much work however as the semester has just ended. I'm preparing a photo of mine to go into a silent auction for quake relief being held in Atlanta by a friend of a friend next Saturday. That's keeping me from reading my Twitter feed all day.

Today is White Day if you didn't know. It's the antithesis of Japan's Valentine's Day. On White Day boys give chocolates to the girls. I baked cookies. Sunday afternoon was spent in the kitchen of my friend's bar where they have an oven. I got away from the news and busied myself baking. It felt good.

Passing out the cookies today also helped. I made enough cookies, along with little bags with stickers that said "Happy White Day from David" in a cutesy font, to give to all the female staff in the school. Hopefully it cheered them up. A little happiness in this rough time. Giving is cathartic.

But, now that's over. Back to the long wait. The long silence.

I think I'm going to have a cigarette.

12 comments:

angryparsnip said...

What a post today... and I so agree with everything you said about the
media hype.

I hope the news gets better soon so that the clean-up and repair work can get started.

I am so glad the US Navy got there with the heavy duty helicopters that can bring in heavy equipment and supplies and carry out the injured.

take care your all in my heart...
mum

Hannah said...

She's right, back to normal is true strength.

Love to you and Yuko, and Mia. We can't wait to see you in a few months.


Hannah

Eryl said...

Yuko sounds like my mother: practical and wise.

I'll join you for a cigarette.

Anna said...

I am glad you and your family are safe.. I wish I could hop on a plane and help with clean up or something. My thoughts are with you and all of Japan. Take care and try to be safe :)

Anna

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I just came over from your mother's blog. "There's a point where the news we need to know ends and voyeurism beings", couldn't agree with you more. I have stopped watching the footage and moved on the thoughts and prayers for healing and help. Thinking of you all.

Carole said...

I am heartsick about the devastation in Japan. I can't get away from the news coverage so I am a fault for some of the media frenzy. Still we care an awfully lot.

Kanani said...

We all reached disaster news burn out this weekend. Carry on as best you can, that's all you can do.

I know that after Katrina, the outlying areas that had not been hit saw a surge on population and projects to carry out to help out those who were seeking shelter. It might be that the best thing you can do is work with organizations that are preparing on a local level. They'll need your help too.

Pat said...

As a Mum I say if you do not smoke already don't have a cigarette.
I think you are right to stay with your family. They need you.
It sounds as if the Japanese people - like the Australians - are gutsy folk who get on with dealing with the problem. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

Anonymous said...

The nuclear reactor situation does not seem to be improving. Hope it will soon. They are now teaching kids in Japan about the situation through this cartoon
http://www.japansugoi.com/wordpress/cartoon-explaining-the-fukushima-nuclear-reactor-problem-to-kids/

David said...

Whatever the western news media (CNN, FOX, AP etc) is saying it's, much more scary sounding than the local Japanese media. They've been over hyping fear-mongering the entire thing.

That said, I saw that cartoon this morning. It's quite well done. I'm not sure who made it and for what reason. (I guess I could but I'm lazy). Also who is "they" and what "children" are they showing it to. It's not a good time to be vague like that. Please cite what you claim.

Judging by the style of the animation, I don't think it's been shown in any schools. It was most likely made for adults for adults. I could be wrong.

ChrisXS said...

My heartfelt best wishes go out to you and your family.

Elizabeth said...

Sending all good wishes in your direction.
I'm a blog-chum of your mother and am watching the news from Japan very closely.
All best wishes in this difficult time.
Yes, do have a cigarette......I know they aren't good for you but so
very soothing to the nerves!