It really pains me to write it, but this situation in Japan seems horribly familiar. It’s like the Japanese people are getting hit with a combination of Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans and the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster — all at the same time, and quite clearly worse.
I don’t see a lot of television news these days, and so I’ve only glimpsed a few seconds of video, but that’s been more than enough to horrify and upset me and evoke the inevitable memories. Mostly I read news articles in the paper and online, which are just as alarming though not so visceral. I have had to explain some of the photographs to my three-year-old daughter. Why is that woman crying? What happened to her house. What’s an orthcake? She can now find Japan on the world map that serves as her place mat.
It seems clear this catastrophe will eclipse Katrina in the zeitgeist, so our stint as poster children for catastrophe and recovery may finally be at an end.
I don’t have anything new or profound to say, except to express my profound sadness and compassion, not only for the people of Japan but for the land itself, and the sea, and all the living creatures there.
As for the photo above, it was taken about an hour ago in Japan by a guy named Akira Kawamura. I assume he took this as the moon was at or near perigee, which is coinciding closely with the full moon for the first time in 18 years, creating a much bigger and brighter moon than we normally see — the biggest and brightest we’ll see for a long time.
I was reading about this last night and wondering where that moment would be visible. Turns out, I guess, to be Japan. The moon won’t rise here for several hours, but stumbling upon Akira’s photo reminds me that we’ll be gazing on the same moon here in North America as they are seeing in Japan. It reminds me of the interconnectedness we all share on this huge small planet.
Also, I can’t help but notice it kind of looks like the Japanese flag. It is also the Land of the Rising Moon. And so I hope this rare celestial event might provide a moment of respite and beauty for the people there. I hope the bright rays of this moon now shining on Japan might symbolize a bright future. Though I fear it will be a long hard journey.
Of course this would not be complete without a fundraising link. Doctors Without Borders is a well established and reputable group that does good work. You can donate as part of a collective pagan fundraising effort.