March 13, 2011

大地震

I was fortunate.
So much more lucky than the thousands of those who perished and the hundreds of thousands who still have not returned to their homes. The people living in the coastal cities have suffered a devastating force of nature that makes me feel awful, just plain sad.
Sitting in the dark, without any connection to the outside world, I had no idea what the people in those towns were going through. My biggest worries were getting my staff back safely to their families and making sure I had enough water, cigarettes and booze to last me through the catastrophe. Yes there was a moment during the five long minutes of the initial shock when I truly believed that the building I was in would not stand up to the quake that assaulted it, but never in my wildest imagination could I have pictured the things I saw on my TV once power was restored to my neighborhood.
Water, roiling and black, ugly and unforgiving, smashing through homes. Cars and boats, animals and people carried miles inland and strewn about; deposited like so much detritus across the land.
There are friends who still haven't made contact and we are quite worried about them....
I look back at my journal and I feel somewhat ashamed. My greatest worry was getting enough electricity to charge my phone so I could let my sister know I was still alive and stay in touch with the people who are important to me. I worried that I couldn't get bread or eggs or clean water to drink. I thought selfishly about these things when there were others who were going through a hell that still holds them in it's grip.

The shocks still occur and I still fear that large temblors will shake us, but I feel lucky.
Lucky that my wife is safe and our friends are warm and that I can sit here and write these words on my computer. We are not out of the woods quite yet..... I will post again soon.

21 comments:

Mayden' s Voyage said...

It's hard to grasp the enormity of what happened. I am so glad you are ok. I know it's pointless for me to tell you not to have "survivors guilt", but there was no way you could have known how devastating the earthquake was, especially when the previous one did so little damage.
I was so relived last night when I saw you were ok. Thank you for checking in and letting us know... I felt selfish for hoping you would, yet very grateful that you did. I posted the donation info on my fb page, and I'll do the same at Mayden's Voyage. My best to you and your loved ones. I hope and pray those in need get help and resources as quickly as possible.
I am so glad you are here~

Anzardo's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leelee said...

you know how concerned I was for you and yours...and still so very concerned about everyone in Japan....continued thoughts and prayers of safety and love for all.

HUGS!!

NYD said...

Thanks ladies! Your thoughts as well as your support are much appreciated.

I heard that the quake was upgraded from 8.8 to 9.0...Really happy it wasn't a perfect 10 :P I also heard that the axis of the planet shifted causing the day to be shortened by 1.8 microseconds...I'm sure the department of Labor and Taxation will want me to adjust my working hours accordingly (*_*)

lime said...

i am so glad to read this post and know you are safe. it's horrifying to watch from the other side of the world, unimaginable what being there must be like.

you, your family and friends, and the rest of japan are in my thoughts and prayers.

NYD said...

Thanks Lime. Actually once the initial shocks were over and I knew my friends were safe, it was a bit like camping, minus the bugs and with a hearty dash of fear and uncertainty mixed in.

The Grunt said...

I'm glad that you are ok. It is heart wrenching to see what Japan is going through.

NYD said...

I have only been able to see what happened since yesterday evening...and I'm just flabbergasted.
Today I have to make my way back into town to check out my school and get some gas and heating oil.

Kurt said...

Greetings Japanese resident and best wishes from American male. Stay safe. As a former resident of San Francisco, I can relate.

dianne said...

I am so pleased to read that you have survived and are still with us; I have been concerned about you like many others here.
Don't feel ashamed that you were worried about getting water and supplies it was not selfish, we do the best we can to survive, it is a basic instinct.
I have been watching the news unfold with disbelief, so many lives lost and the destruction is enormous. I wondered how I would cope with and survive such devastation, there is so much to be done and I wish the Japanese people and all other residents there the strength to rebuild both their lives and their cities.
Stay safe dear NYD, we are thinking of you.
xoxoxoxo ♡

Serena said...

I was so glad to hear you're okay. When I see the images on TV of the horrendous devastation, it's almost incomprehensible. It almost sounds like we here in the States have been able to see more of what happened than you in light of your power outages, etc. It's just unimaginable, and it's going to be a long journey to recovery. Japan is in the prayers of the entire world.

NYD said...

Thanks for all the kind words. I really do appreciate them and although I feel terrible for what has happened I am very glad not to be counted among the dead. (sometimes I think I missed my chance to go missing)I guess I'm still in shock about what has happened here and what I saw on TV just messed me up even more.

P.S. The department store down the street from my school had a gas explosion and blew out the entire first floor.

I'm gettin twitchy,,,

Allan said...

Very glad to hear you are OK. The rest is incomprehensible in scope and sorrow.

Allan said...

Very glad to hear you are OK. The rest is incomprehensible in scope and sorrow.

K9 said...

so glad to see this post! Thrilled to "see you" but so heartbroken for Japan.

The Grunt said...

Hey, my aunt sent me this in an email. I knew that they lived in Japan, but wasn't aware of all the details. I hope you don't mind the long comment. Here's part of what she sent me.

"I thought you might be interested in knowing that the nuclear power site they have been showing on the news is the site that Blaine worked at from 1975 to 1979. The Fukushima Nuclear Power Site has 6 nuclear plants. Three were built by GE and 3 by Hitachi Electric, all under contract for Tokyo Power Co.. Blaine worked on Fuku 6, the last one built by GE. The one that was strewing steam and smoke was Fuku 1 and it is abt. 40 yrs. old and the 1st one built. We lived just south of the plants on a hilltop covered by bamboo and pine trees. It wasn't far from the site and has since been covered in lots of dirt to make an a hill overlook for tourists to look down on the site (so I have been told). Most of the area is rice paddies and farms but the site has brought in more businesses for the people in the area. Our nearest town was Ono, which was about 15mins west of the ocean. We had to go under the main north and south highway to get to Ono and the train station that went north to Sendai and south to Tokyo. Many villages and small towns were along the road and ocean and many were small fishing villages. I worry that many of them are no longer there. I haven't hear anything about Namie-machi which was where Greg was born and was about 20 mins. north of us. Most of the land was fairly flat so I am afraid the towns were hit by the Tsunami. One town they mentioned on ksl.com.'s pictures was Soma. We went there several times as well as going to Sendai by train or car for District Conferences and shopping. We would go to Iwaki City for church every sunday and for shopping other days. It was abt.1 hr. south of us. It just overwhelms me reading about it and worrying about people that we know that still live there.
I tell you this because I thought you might be interested in knowing that that was the area we lived in during the 70's."

moi said...

So happy to see that you are alive and well. The news since this happened is unbearable to watch and listen to. You, yours, and all of Japan are in my thoughts and prayers.

Southern Writer said...

Ah. I see Serena Joy is here. *waves to SJ* That makes me feel better. I've been worried about our old friend, Scary Monster, and hoping he and his family are safe. It would be such a relief to hear from him. I'm glad that you and yours are also safe. I think you should give yourself a break...hoping your phone works so that you can get in touch with those who must have been worried sick about you is NOT selfish. It's considerate. I know if my brother was in that predicament, hearing from him would mean the world to me and reduce me to tears. I don't actually have a brother, but that's beside the point. (Was that a little hint of a smile, I hope?)

NYD said...

Allan: Looking at things from the inside- out, makes it very strange.

K9:No worries Li'l pup...We'll bounce back!!!

Grunt: Thanks so much for sharing that it was a great read...The only thing I have to say is that except for Sendai and Fukushima, every other town mentioned in that letter is now a wasteland...

Moi: Thank you! Yes it is terrible to watch, but slowly and every so often there is good news and a miracle story...Those are the ones we need.

Hi Southern! Sorry for "Scary" dropping off the face of the planet, but the project was for a year and a year it lasted. Hope you will visit here from time to time. The grammar is better and the stories more varied:)

STOMP! (very, very softly)

Megan said...

I'm glad you posted and I'm even more glad you are all right. Google has been nasty to me lately and I didn't see this until just now...

I hope the school held up and that things can get back to normal there soon. Or at least, as normal as it can get after something like this.

xo

Mona said...

(Hugs)

I am glad for you.

But I feel deeply saddened for my fellow humans and all other life form in Japan and all the other places that felt the impact of the horrible force of Nature.