After the earthquake and tsunami, Japan now faces a death toll in perhaps the tens of thousands and an ever-widening and grave nuclear threat.
So many lives undone in unimaginable ways give rise to compassion. As does the uncertainty of what lies ahead.
Yet watching the images and reading the accounts, there is also something fascinating, something so stunning and at the same time so stunningly true, so terrifying, awesome and humbling. The scenes of death and devastation render unavoidable the knowledge that our efforts to tame what is wild, to control what cannot be controlled are woefully futile.
Our assumptions about our supremacy, over the « world » and over « ourselves, » are surely dispelled. The elements – earth, fire, water, air – are revealed to be perfectly inexorable, unforgiving, splendidly mighty and indifferent.
I am reminded of my imperfect place, that of the forgiving and fallible human being, vulnerable and capable of tears and laughter and love.