Monday, March 12, 2012

The earthquake, one year after

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck Japan. I spoke briefly  about our experience at the time, but have not revisited the topic in great detail on my blog. 

Truth be told, not a day passes where I do not think about March 11. 

I will be sitting in my favorite chair, watching the children play. All of the sudden I feel like I am shaking; my heart starts to race, palms sweaty. I look over at the lamp: the chain is not moving. Another 'phantom quake'. Panic attack.  

When I notice an actual earthquake I brace myself for the intensity to increase. I search online to find where the epicenter was, if there is a tsunami, if it was close to the still fragile Fukushima power plant. 

Always waiting for the other shoe to drop/be shaken off. 

I feel guilty indulging in such worry. Really, we were lucky. The thousands of lives that were lost around Japan. The thousand still that are unaccounted for. These tragedies did not touch us. And while we live here, this is not our 'home' or our Country. 

News reports, articles, videos... with the anniversary people have been posting tributes and facts about the day. I stoically listened and watched them all yesterday. Then today, the day after, I listed to a piece on the radio while driving to the Base. And I wept. 

One year has passed. And Japan has picked herself up, shaken off the dust, and the process of rebuilding is in full swing. 

And, for the most part, so have I.

But that day has left scars. Fear and anxiety. 

I look forward to the day where we are not only celebrating the calendar passing of the date, but the fear and anxiety passing as well. 

But one thing is certain; we can all learn a thing or two from beautiful Japan. 

1 comment:

  1. I worry, too. And I totally get what you're saying about feeling phantom quakes. I'm really glad you said that, actually. I'm not sure if it's anxiety related for me, but I feel them all the time. Then I have to hold myself really still and wait a minute just to see if I'm actually shaking. Half the time, I can't tell. It's such a weird feeling.