I was going to write a cheerful entry for you all, about my forthcoming experiment in Paddington station next week. Instead if I’m honest with you it’s hard to write joyful prose this week. The uprisings in Libya and Bahrain, a young monk setting himself alight in Tibet and of course the colossal earthquake and subsequent tsunami have left me somewhat drained. All of this has put into sharp realism how helpless one is as an individual.
When the earthquake hit Japan I like many others around the world was fast asleep. My house didn’t shake and crumble, my world remained the same, spinning on a shifted axis. The following morning I remained blissfully ignorant, grumbling at my alarm clock and picking out clothes. That ignorance remained until I turned on the news, greeted then by harrowing images and the ever-increasing death toll. You would have to be cold of heart not to been shaken to your core by it all. The dead had done the same thing I had that morning, brushing their teeth and showering before work and yet they will never come home, never sleep again, never wake.
As you can tell the event has affected me and since that day I have done what I can from England, giving to relief organizations standing outside my tube stop in London. Yet the feeling of helplessness remains, engraved on my being. If I’m honest to myself it’s not money that Japan needs -as the 3rd largest economy in the world- its technical support and skills that they need.
I have been involved in earthquakes in the past, microscopic in comparison but the fear that envelopes you as the resolute earth quivers, stays with you. Despite feeling that terror as I watch it on a TV screen, there is little I can do. I am thousands of miles away and other than financial giving there is little I can do, I have no experience in search and rescue and limited crisis management knowledge, going to Japan, I would be of a hindrance than a help. So I do what I can, write, throwing words into cyber space like confetti in the wind, urging you all to do whatever you can and to my Japanese readers my thoughts are with you and your country.
I promise the next entry will be more cheerful.