Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Today marks the 4 year anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, most centrally in Fukushima. The world is aware of the rippling disasters that occurred in its wake, the nuclear power plant, the contaminated water and soil, the people who were and still are displaced. There are still a lot of questions and threads left open, and still a lot of lives that continue to be affected. It can be easy to forget them and their losses as the news rolls on to other atrocities. But difficult, life-changing events can happen to anyone. And as the world moves on, it is good to take a moment to remember those punctures to normality that bring the absurd and unimaginable within us. In one part of the world, an earthquake, a tsunami, a hurricane. And in many, many parts of the world, stories of personal loss playing out on a far smaller but no less important and meaningful way. We all feel loss, we all feel suffering, and it never leaves us; we can only find sustained distraction. But in the midst of the times of memory, it is an opportunity to have compassion. And on these days of loss on a grander scale, when it is possible to point to the suffering of many people from one event, it is an opportunity to reflect on loss in general, and to share that moment, even from a distance, with others.