The day before the Tsunami hit Japan, I had started to write a blog entry - it was about my spleen of all things. After seeing the unbelievable images all weekend, however, I just couldn't bring myself to finish it - spleen issues will have to wait.
First of all, I have to say I appreciated the concerns from all my friends and acquaintances about my family there. Many people asked whether I knew if they were alright. Fortunately, I was able to answer that they were fine, although shaky - no pun intended.
Looking back at the tremendous Sumatran Quake of 2004, I'm not sure that I showed that same concern for my neighbors from those countries that were devastated by it and the resulting Tsunamis. That quake was so wicked that it is believed to have scarred the Earth's gravity field and shortened the day by fractions of a second. The natural disaster of 2004 is said to have claimed over two-hundred-thousand lives. And though it was only six years ago, I for one have already archived the event in some remote sector of my memory that only Google can jog free.
Who can blame us for moving on because Mother Nature gave us no other choice. There's no one to sue or wage a war against. No narcissistic governments, flawed foreign policies or terrorists to condemn. Maybe the Earth is old and falling apart. I can sympathize with that - hence my spleen.
But the sheer helplessness when nature acts up is unnerving. I makes me wonder if we are indeed approaching the end of the world. I'm not proud of the fact that I entertained the flaky and unrealistic notion of apocalypse but back in January, over dinner, we were discussing the Mayan Calendar. You know, it's that hoopla saying the end of the world is approaching on 12/21/12. One article I read went as far as to give an exact time. At 11:11pm, the Milky Way will align with the Sun...or something. What's it all mean? Well, I'm not a scientist or an astronomer or even a fan of Oprah, but I predict it will melt the caramel and the nougat.
I joke but it doesn't mean I don't take seriously the plight of disaster victims. I think my cousin summed it up best when I e-mailed him trying to find out if his family was okay. He confirmed - through Facebook - that everybody was fine. But the revelation was that his son, who had turned seven on that day, was so happy it was his birthday that he was happily "running around with no pants on despite the big disaster."
Nothing like kids to put life back into perspective. As long as they're around, it'll never be the end - as we know it.