It has been a while.
I was not up to writing in February and then there was March.
I admit to having been damaged--not directly by the quake or the horrible black tide, but by the images of such great loss and having those horrors go hand in hand with such worry for the future.
The French Embassy evacuated people from Tokyo, the US State Department (ridiculously) recommends that Americans not travel to Japan:
"The State Department strongly urges U.S. citizens to defer travel to Japan at this time and those in Japan should consider departing".
This warning was found on the Dept. of State website and is NOT helpful. I think that their statement just adds to the confusion. I live in Kyushu. Why should I consider leaving my job, my extended family and abandon people here who depend on me? My friends and family back home--who are unaware of the geography of Japan will read these "official" warnings and begin to beg me to "come home" or send me table salt. (The British Embassy is passing out iodine in Niigata--also far away and unaffected by the earthquake damage and tsunami.)
I know that there has been bungling and deception--TEPCO, the power company that runs the reactors in Fukushima have been trying to cover up their greed and idiocy for years. Still, this is NOT Chernobyl. Radiation damage is and will be limited. Rumors fly, but based on what is currently known, it is still very, very safe.
"I quote from the "this is not Chernobyl" site above:
"The only thing I’m worried about getting “exposed” to is the sensationalism in the foreign press that is causing widespread panic."
It has not yet been two weeks and there are already some signs of light. This is JAPAN folks--stoic, resilient, Japan. It will rise again from the ashes.