Saturday, March 12, 2011

Agony or Ecstacy We Are In It for Each Other

World events are shaping my thinking this weekend. Yesterday and today events in Japan have focused clearly and sharply on what could rightly be called 'the sum of all fears', a biblical catastrophe of proportions we are witness to in our living rooms.Wrenching scenes of destruction with world-wide implications, which today were added to by what may be an epic explosion in a nuclear facility. Earthquake, tsunami, nuclear disaster -- God and man wrecking havoc and the earth groans.

This morning while watching events around the  nuclear reactor, it struck me how calm and restful the sea behind looked! And with water belieing the truth, here before us a disaster waiting to happen because there was no water to cool the rods: an irony of agony and an agony of irony.

My town, Southport lives on the Irish Sea. Not that far to the north is the nuclear waste treatment facility of Sellafield. Rumours abound about the dangers to the people living downwind of that place and there have been many articles printed about an alarming increase in the numbers of leukemia victims. And recently this warning. Jobs and money. To me, an avoidable risk. I am not keen on 'nuclear' because I believe that while these places can be made 'safe as houses' that in the long term human beings are more than likely going to take them for granted, not want to spend the money for upkeep, etc. We can not be trusted -- I believe...

I would hazard a guess that we are not likely to get a tsunami here, thanks to Ireland, but nothing is for certain and sometime in the early 1980's and in February 2008 there was an earthquake off the coast of Southport in the middle of the Irish Sea -- a miniscule 3.something or another on the scale! Still it shook some china in some cupboards and caused some cracks in ceilings and some of the Victorian houses suffered  subsidence. I digress.

What we witnessed yesterday we witnessed as humanity. None of it was anybody's fault. We were in the way of the natural order of 'thing's. This was awesome and we are small. But where we are awesome is when we pick up the pieces, when we forget about everything but each other and our need to try to bind the wounds, to comfort and to rebuild lives. But damn, I wish that reactor wasn't there ... God bless everybody.


  1. I agree about where we get awesome with each other.

    The earth has been quaking and there have been tsunamis for probably billions of years. It's a natural process. Where we get in the way, we may get hurt. We kind of assume the risk when we choose to live in areas known for their techtonic activity. Where I live, in the Pacific Northwest of the US, we have active volcanoes nearby. One of them erupted in 1989. We accept that risk. At least I do.

  2. We are tiny ants on this globe, and its history is violent and constantly changing. We just sit around and forget we are just ants, with a lot of pride and a lot of activities to disrupt many things.

    Beautiful post, Broad.

  3. Thank you so much for this. You have put into words waht so many are feeling. We used to live just north of Sellafield (in the days when it was known as Windscale) and the rumours were there even then.

  4. Have happy memories of Southport. Our daughter lives in St Annes. Derby is as far from the sea as almost anywhere in England.

  5. @Grumpy Old Ken: Haven't been to Derby, but love Derbeyshire. Like St. Anne's, too--shame it's so near across the water from Southport but so inconvenient by road!


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