6 months / 10 years

The Great Tohoku Earthquake is 6 months past.

The attack on the World Trade Center happened 10 years ago.

Today, just in the past.

For the latter one, there have been 10 annual anniversaries already, which is a bit strange.  To me, only this year I really think about it, see the pictures, hear the stories.

Seeing the wreck, it reminds me of Ishinomaki harbour a bit. The stories of countless deaths, the people still grieving their losses. Only this year I feel I am capable of understanding maybe 1% of their feelings. Only now, 20 years after my birth, I feel like being fully awake.

The way people coped and still cope with what happened differs a lot. Some shove it away, others confront themselves again and again. Anywhere in the world. But having seen people die, die in the most horrible ways, seeing the strongest buildings falling apart, vanishing. Seeing how there is no power at all, there is no safety. No boundaries or safe zones, there is just “being” and “falling apart”. You are, and the next second you fall apart.

Remembering her small, but clear voice, coming from underneath the white mask, telling in a strangely cheerful way about how her friends could not escape but were washed away, into the cold ocean.  How, when I thanked her for this day she replied “Thank you, it was a nice day.”

The man in the convenience store, just 2 minutes from the worst wrecks said “Thank you”, whilst slightly bowing, when I said “Sugoi yo!”, commenting on how the store opened again so quickly after the tsunami.

It hurts to see some smile when actually talking about things that tear their hearts in two.

But seeing their pride, their will to life. And also how they work together, believe in each other. This is what makes this whole, horrible thing, which seems to be impossible to bear from the outside, less scary, less dark.

The burnt out building that used to be a school, with scattered windows up to the third floor. Looking at the memory of it, I can’t help imagining children who are panicked, crying, coughing, choking. Cold water coming, creeping higher and higher. The horrible sound, the noise of every thing that is in the water being shoved around, crashing against things. The noise of people running and screaming and the sound of the tons of brown water, moving, taking away everything.

How do those remember, who have seen it with their own eyes? How could this happen? How could so many die, drowning, pulled under water by the undertow?  The only thought that seems positive is >>No human did this.<<

For 9/11, seeing the debris, seeing people jumping, seeing them being torn out of their normal life to find themselves in a sudden hell, all around. Fume, smoke, flames, ashes, cries.  A hell created by humans. How could anyone want this? Plan this? Execute this?

I hope that those who witnessed will mend. That they will find a way to heal. Both nature’s and human’s force, violence.  Cause it is just too numbing…

 

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