Mar 25, 2011

近況など this and that about my current life

When I've not yet freed from back pains caused by a herniated disk and aftershocks are coming everyday, I didn't feel like at all making a new entry. And now, I'm in a peaceful mood after having attended my son's graduation ceremony yesterday. I think it's high time to write little about my being lately.

I don't remember if I wrote this story about my experience of an earthquake in my blog...

My husband and I are originally from Kansai-area.
That January sixteen years ago, a huge earthquake hit that area. Since I lived in Kyushu, the southeast part of Japan, then, I was having an ordinary morning hours with my four-month baby in an apartment. And I got a call and was urged to turn on a TV. I don't watch TV often, so I didn't know what it was for, but when the first scene came into my eyes, I became just wordless. The TV showed me the areas close to my house and what?! power poles are down and roads are collapsed. What is this all about???!

That was the beginning of my hardships. I eagerly made my baby fall asleep and once she's asleep, I rushed out to the nearest public phone and tried to find out my parent's whereabouts, but I couldn't reach to them. After many calls in several hours, I had a call from one of my partner's relatives lives in Shimane, whom I've barely met, and to my total relief, I found out everyone is safe and injured little and soon will be evacuated from the damaged area by some relatives.

My partner works for a brewing company and some of the factories severely damaged, so the next day, my partner departed our house to the devastated area to help restore the factory, with a load of things necessary to work in a dangered area, such as a helmet and a hard-sole shoes, carrying on his back... I was a newbie in Kyushu then and had no friends or acquaintances, so I was terribly worried if I could get by on my own...

As it turned out, my house was completely destroyed and my partner's partially destroyed.
(I learnt later how they survived with little injuries. My mom had been sleeping in a room with a big Japanese-style chest when the earthquake hit and it fell down upon her. Since the chest is separated at the middle, she luckily slipped into the tiny slit made by the upper and the lower chest and she scarcely saved her life. My pa was covered with debris of a clay wall.)

That's the story I've experienced some time ago and it kind of flash backed to me while I was watching a TV and I ended up feeling down for the past a few days. Kansai-Awaji earthquake sixteen years ago was serious, but the damaged areas are not that many, so recovery was real fast. On the other hand, this time the earthquake and the tsunami engulfed so many areas and the total loss is just beyond words and imaginations. Some commentators nonchalantly say in a TV programs that they hope the re-establishment will be made as soon as possible, but I think it might be better to take as much time as the sufferers needed to think about their future once the fundamental life is resumed, and all the supports will be made endlessly for them.

After the Kansai earthquake, my parents worked vigorously to recover their life as it always had been and soon started a new life temporarily in a different town in Kansai. Even though they looked fine and everything seemed to have gone back to normal when I saw them several months after the incident, I thought they got about ten years older than before the earthquake. It was crystal clear that the stress caused by the earthquake is so huge that it might take a long time, maybe a few years, before they become totally free from the agonizing memory of loss and fearfulness and regain their both mental and physical health thoroughly.

Now, I realized that I've not a bit told anything about my current being...

Having gone through those sad experiences, I just can't help feeling sad and down every time I watch TV. Further more, I think people in Tokyo are not that frightened as me since earthquakes are not something new for them, but I, non-native of Tokyo, am not immune against earthquakes, so I'm quite worried if another big one hit here and I can't be easy and calm.

However, I have one remedy to save me from thinking endlessly bad things and that remedy is, as you might guess, my dear kindle! I don't know what I should be doing now if not for kindle. I strongly advise you to store one in your emergency bag. ^^

・・・So, it turned out to be the usual ending, why not befriends with kindle in case of an emergency or a treatment with bed rest?!


Clarissa (Readable Blog/Talk to the Clouds) said...

I've never experienced a quake like that, so I can't imagine what it's like. Your mom's experience must have been terrifying. Even just reading the tweets from this one while it was happening was scary...

I agree with you about the Kindle or books in general, though! When I was recovering from an extremely stressful time last year, I asked my friends for peaceful/relaxing/restorative book recommendations. I'm working on a post about that for Readable Blog, although I'm trying to think of more books to include ... I also want to introduce the #fridayreads hashtag as a way to get people feeling more connected with other readers.

Take care--when I was reading about post-major-disaster stress, I read that events like this can cause PTSD and so on among very wide communities. It's not just the people in the quake/tsunami-struck areas. Based on what I've been hearing from my @readable followers (sleeplessness, flashbacks, survivors' guilt, anxiety, depression, etc.), that's definitely the case. And yes, even people in Tokyo and so on. :/ It doesn't affect people equally, of course, because everyone is's unpredictable.

So please take care!

Mrs. Malone said...

Hi, I'm finally feeling better and I'm really glad I can exchange messages with you like before by now.
Compared to the agony and ongoing extreme difficulties fell on the sufferers Tohoku, my life is nothing to be cried over. Still, I should be careful not to accumulate my little stress, or it'll will make a big pile in a long while...

I'm not familiar with twitter yet, but your idea or"#fridayreads" is a twitter thing, right? I'm happily follow it^^ I wonder if I should do the same like #tadoku-easy-reads ^^