Japan

The Meaning of an Earthquake?

Today is the sixth day since the disaster. My ways of looking at and thinking about things have changed.

Everywhere I go, there is nothing but tears. I want to write about this with all the ferocity of an Asura.

Radiation is falling. It is a quiet night.

What meaning could there be in harming us to this extent?

The meaning of all things is probably determined after the fact. If so, then what is the meaning of that period “after the fact”? Is there any meaning there at all?

What could this earthquake be trying to teach us? If it’s not trying to teach us anything, then what can we possibly have left to believe?

Radiation is falling. It is a quiet, quiet night.

We were told that when we come back in from outside, we should wash our hair, hands, and face. We don’t have any water to wash ourselves.

I hear that no supplies have reached Minami Sōma, the city where I used to live. They say that’s because no one wants to go into the city. Please save Minami Sōma.

What does your homeland represent to you? I will not abandon my homeland. My homeland is everything to me.

—Ryōichi Wagō
Pebbles of Poetry: The Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami (translated by Jeffrey Angles)
2011

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