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.