QUAKE UPDATE Day 21
No news from Tatsuya, at work trying to get his quake-wrecked office back in shape... Our son Keech is busy and safe in Seattle, haven't been able to get in touch with him yet by phone, will try again this weekend...
Cherries are starting to blossom down on the flatlands; it'll be a week or so before they bloom up here, but the traditional celebratory mood just didn't arise this year... there won't be much of the usual happy cherry blossom revelries in the fragrant evenings while the blooms last, acknowledging the brevity of life with sake and music, dancing on straw mats beneath a sky of blossoms-- no one can fully celebrate the turning of this year into seeding time, growing time, greening, warming, golden time, because no one has a whole heart. How can they be joyous beneath all that beauty without thinking of places not far away, where there is no joy and beauty has fled?
Cherry Blossoms Bloom Alone as Japanese Mourn Tsunami Victims
One good at least comes from all this, and that is the growing awareness - throughout this country and the world - of the importance of power conservation, which should have been promoted in schools and societies every minute of every day for the past 50 years. Having every service at your fingertips is spiritually and physically debilitating. Where's the #$%@#$%*# remote?! Not to say there should be no power, but that it should be the essential part, judiciously meted and gratefully valued. No man is free who has an invisible, ubiquitous, all-powerful, instant slave.
Tokyo tower is not lit (I've never seen that) and daily electricity demand in Tokyo (the e-hungriest city in the world) has fallen by as much as 28 percent since the earthquake, compared with year-earlier levels. Well done.
Sarkozy is visiting Japan for a bit of radioactive PR. Last time Kan tried that and went to see the radiating reactors to get some macho press wearing the unsullied worker’s uniform politicians here put on in times of disaster, his vast entourage arrived just as the reactor guys were about to conduct a critical procedure that would release radiation, which isn't even healthy for elected officials, let alone Prime Ministers, so they had to postpone the procedure until the PM had helicoptered off, leaving things worse than when he came... Gives me a thought though... perhaps a radiation shield comprising layer upon layer of responsible politicians might be of some satisfaction...
As to the stark reality of it all...
"Measurement networks showing how radiation plumes move globally, along with commercial satellite imagery and Internet communication, mean the public has more information than ever before [who let that happen?] about the consequences of nuclear breakdowns. Policy makers will have to adapt..."
Guess this means that the International Atomic Energy Agency is gonna have to tell the public something more fundamental about what is going on. They meet next week at a "10 day closed-door event." We are not invited.