December 31st, 2004

Dancing Thru

Tsunami conciousness

Well, I've contributed to the Red Cross for the tsunami relief, but it's intimidating to think of how much more will still be needed, the scope of this is so staggering.

Tsunamis are kind of in a special angst category in my psyche. Maybe it's another of those side effects from living in Hawaii at a tender age. I not only crave pickled octopus as a comfort food, but tsunami haunt my nightmares. I remember asking about the ruined road we were driving on, at one point, and my mother said it was from the last big tsunami. And then I got the dreams, the ones where I saw walls of surge water, and ruins of buildings bobbing in it, and cars washed away. They were just as bad and just as vivid as my dreams of the American Civil War. They started when we were in Hawaii, and hardly a month goes by that I don't have some variation on tsunami. I must have been the only kid in California who, on seeing the ocean retreat far out, even at super-low tides, came close to panic attacks. This, of course, was reenforced when they evacuated below us when the Alaska Quake hit, and I watched with horror as fools rushed down to the shore to watch the water receed. In my childhood, I was trying to run away from the surge, but it never seemed like I could run fast enough. As an adult, I help hunt for survivors, or watch from above the danger zone as the water rushes through, flattening houses and churning dark mud. I see so many places, in so many stages of devastation. Sometimes I can identify them, and sometimes not. I don't think, in the light of this latest news footage, I will be losing these dreams any time in this lifetime...
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