Monday, March 21, 2011

We're changed...

We write things down. We take pictures  and videos. Even if we plan on forgetting certain things, we can't.  Events of great magnitude live with us forever.

The experiences of March 17 in Japan, the earthquakes and the tsunami waves that caused so much devastation will forever be etched in the DNA of Japanese people, and they and we will be talking about this event for a very long, long time. In Chile, in Haiti, in California, people who have experienced similar devastation and panic will understand, will relate.

And then, artists will interpret those emotions, unburden the weight of the fear and the terror of those days in ways for us to understand what they went through. Then, too, we will nod for a while, and then try to forget.

Soldiers write war stories sixty years after the event.  Stories of violence and famine and natural destruction are passed down from generation to generation.

Stop and listen.
We'll be talking about this for a long, long time, and the fear and panic will not go away...
We need to listen and be present.
We need to hold hands and cry together because these things have changed us.
Our world has changed.


That Janie Girl said...


So very true.

Brian Miller said...

amen. it really has shaken a lot of people to the core...and we should not ignore such events...

Hilary said...

So true.. and so beautifully expressed.

Eva Gallant said...

What you say is true. We are changed; we need to appreciate every precious second we are given, because we never know when they will be gone.

#1Nana said...

I am haunted by the images. The good that comes out of this event may be that we pull together as a global community. If it can happen in Japan it can happen here.

quilterliz said...

Very well said Rosaria. We need to make the most of what we have, you never know when it might be snatched away. Take care...

ds said...

Yes. Now, what will we do with it?

Rob-bear said...

Our world has, indeed, changed. And it just keeps changing. The latest war has been declared in Libya, only it's not being called a war; that level of honesty would be too frightening to label as what it is.

Good night and good luck.

RNSANE said...

The devastation in Japan is so overwhelming. I feel is even more since I visited Japan twice in the last five years and have some wonderful friends there, all, thankfully, safe.

My last visit, a week long, was all expenses paid, to teach child forensic interviewing at three cities in Japan. I was treated like royalty and felt so honored by my Japanese colleagues.

I wrote this poem after the earthquake.

Japan, In My Thoughts

In just the blinking of an eye,
Chaos can reign supreme.
The earth can shake and rumble,
Causing suffering extreme.

A magnitude 9 earthquake,
Twenty miles deep in the sea,
Created the killer tsunami,
And people couldn't flee.

"The Land of the Rising Sun",
Is feeling so much pain,
The world must help Japan,
Heal and grow again.

This country rich in culture,
Tradition and great art,
It must seem overwhelming,
You wonder how to start.

Lacking even food and water,
Or a place to lay one's head,
We need to send out meals,
And blankets and a bed.

Families are completely gone,
Towns lie in piles of rubble,
Problems at the nuclear plants,
Are another source of trouble.

The entire world is reeling,
And united in their grief,
But there is a global effort,
To respond with fast relief.

We watch with admiration,
This country stoic and brave,
That now endures such horror,
From a deadly tidal wave.

Our thoughts and prayers go out,
And, hopefully, we'll share,
Whatever amount we can,
To ease the suffering there.

Carmen Henesy

Copyright (c) Carmen Henesy
March 15, 2011

the walking man said...

I will not forget but I know I will not cry either.

The Broad said...

Rosaria, what you write is so right. What is evident to me out of this catastrophe is that most of all we are here for each other...

Grandmother said...

Sometimes all we can do is serve as witnesses for one another. I appreciated your perspective, especially the role of the artists.

Arkansas Patti said...

Very well said and I doubt this will leave any one untouched or without scars. It is a pain felt around the world.

NormalToEatPB said...

such a beautiful epithet for a horrible event.

NitWit1 said...

It is hard to say what sticks in our long-term memory, but I remember the day the time stood still with two American events, the day JFK was assassinated, and the bombing of the Two Towers in NY.

I also remember sitting in front of the radio with my parents listing to FDR tell about Pearl Harbor and declaring war. Of course I did not then remember the ramifications of this event.

Robyn said...

Yes our world has changed and is always changing.

x Robyn

yaya said...

We want to control so much in life and then something like this happens and we are shaken to realize we really don't have control over much..except how we respond, how we help, how we care. The Japanese certainly have display grace under fire.

Anonymous said...

Any of its three disasters would be awful enough. But three huge events almost's beyond comprehension.

erin said...

and too, rosaria, we need to know it is not them but us, our world, all of our world, one people's world. we ache with them. we must act with them as well. we keep too much distance at times. we need to know this is our world and that we are instrumental in it. and perhaps we have no hand is earthquakes or tsunamis but we do in nuclear energy choices. we need to make brave choices with foresight. (we need to forget we are greedy and lazy.)

sorry for turning this a bit. you've written a beautiful post. it just startles me how we all buzz within the disasters (thinking of the oil spill) and then do nothing after. conveniently forget we have a voice. i'm as guilty as anyone.


Gaston Studio said...

So beautifully said Rosaria.

And congrats on POTW!

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

So beautiful and so true. It's these defining events that can define us, if we let them.

I take heart in an interview I heard on NPR. A British man who has lived in Japan for 20 years was saying how it felt like he had lived his live to the very fullest, but it was the earthquake that made him realize that was only partly true. He said this event has made him realize all that he has and all that lies ahead of him and his family.

slommler said...

Yes it has changed..since 9/11, then war, then earthquakes and oil spills and more earthquakes and more wars, and devastation in so many countries. It has shaken us all!! We need to pay attention and believe there is hope so we can move on to a better better the world we live in. If only.....!!!!!
Congrats on your POTW award

CherylK said...

Such a well-written post and so deserving of the POTW honor. Congratulations!

Relyn said...

I appreciate your tender, wise words here. Thank you for them.