Monday, March 14, 2011

Trauma Comes in Units of Three

We've been glued to news on TV and web over the weekend.  I have. It's a family curse, we wait for, and count, as they occur--hardship happens in groups of three. We hope it is over, but I'm afraid the rule will be broken this time.

For people living on the the "Ring of Fire", or the Pacific Tectonic Plate, natural events of geologic scale are reminders of the insignificance and frailty of humanity. Only humans can assess scales of disruption and pain to themselves and their fellows.

For Japan we see the World's leader in catastrophy prevention and response (prepared for such an event) buckling under the enormity of their injury. The safety measures for construction, put into place years ago, saved inumerable lives from one of the greatest earth quakes in recorded history. It might have been an almost uneventful weekend; just 'one for the record books.'

Nothing Japan or any ocean dependent society could do would stop the ensuing tsunami. We see little of a catastrophic earth quake--dust, broken ceiling tiles, buckled roads. What we are in awe of is a wave, a wall of water swallowing everything in its relentless march across miles of coastal plain. And leaving total destruction.

A third emergency surfaced.  Having no traditional resources for electrical power, Japan is threatened by potential radioctive fallout from damaged nuclear power plants.  The only people to have suffered the violent use of nuclear power is close to reliving its destructive capabilities, in peaceful use.

I feel the pain and will hear of the impact of this tragedy on loved ones, family, friends living thousands of miles from the devastation.  My prayers go to a global family member who represents the definition of respect, strength, and social pride.

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