Mother Nature and Devestation

Last night, I passed out on our couch watching “Bones.” My wife and I love that show! My intent was to write a post after the show was over, but instead, I fell asleep. Erg.

So I woke up early and came in to work, hoping to knock out a short Friday. As is my custom, I came in and checked email. I had one from a co-worker whose travelling in Australia, informing us of the earthquake that hit Japan. Wondering what the scope of the earthquake is, I checked out msnbc.com’s website. The pictures have changed, as has the banner news headline, but the message was the same: 8.9 earthquake rocks north east Japan; tsunamis are devestating coastal areas.

The imagery is shocking. Even the Indonesian earthquake from December 2004 didn’t have this much coverage. The advances in technology in those short 6 years have granted us unprecedented coverage of the destruction taking place–many of which looked like they were live feeds from various sister news sites overseas.

As you all know, this blog is supposed to be about music in various and many aspects. Today … no. Today, this post and possibly others are dedicated to two topics: my condolences to any who lose loved ones due to the quake and/or tsunamis; the incredible, awesome power of mother nature.

Now … by “awesome,” I do not mean “wicked cool!” or “Holy shit, did you see that insane earthquake in Japan?!” By “awesome,” I mean the dictionary definition of “awe.” I can’t watch the videos and see the pictures without being completely taken aback by the sheer force and power behind the earthquake and tsunamis. It blows me away that our planet’s crust is a) only about 20 miles thick, b) that crust is made up of plates that shift and roll around–sometimes with extreme violence, as evidenced today.

Google Earth already had the earthquake labeled and iconed, along with about 50+ OTHER earthquakes since the initial 8.9 temblor. Most of those were 6.0 aftershocks. AFTERSHOCKS. AT 6.0 or greater?! Shit … you couldn’t pay me to live there.

As I said, my heart, prayers and thoughts are with those who are being impacted personally by this quake. Loss of life is always hard to hear about. The size of this quake … I’m scared to see what the totals will end up being. My wife and I have friends living in Japan. Thankfully, they got on Facebook and let us all know that they’re safe. That brought a huge amount of relief to me personally … but it doesn’t lessen the impact of the situation. If anything, it sharply puts in focus others’ losses, and it makes me incredibly sad.

And now … the flip-side of the coin. In my building at work, we have a little latino lady who cleans our floor–vacuums, takes out the trash, dusts … and she’s just the friendliest little old lady. Such a sweetheart. So every day that she stops by to empty my trash can, we talk the best we can in her broken English and my mangled Spanish. The other day, I told her about my headaches because she said (again, in her broken English), “You no look so good …” It made me laugh. I tried explaining that I never look good, but I don’t think I got it quite right. ANYway, so today, she stopped by to pick up the garbage. She told me that her father is coming from … somewhere. Not sure where. Not important. She continued on to explain that he’s bringing some cream for pain, and that she’s going to bring some for me. How’s that for a feel-good story?! Here we have all this destruction and death, and in the middle of it all, she takes time out of her day to ask about my back and offers to bring me some pain cream. Damn it all if that isn’t just the nicest thing I’ve heard in a long, long time.

You know what that means? It means I get to pay it forward. Not sure how I’m gonna do it, but by crapola, I am.

I’m completely at a loss. That totally made my day. I’m … I’m floored.

Lunch break over. Getting in at 5:30 am has its perks: early lunch, early leave …

Whatever your personal belief–whether its in a higher power, God, karma, universal power … keep these good people of Japan in your thoughts and prayers. They need it badly right now.

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