Sunday, March 11, 2012

Situation New Normal

I returned to Japan yesterday, one year to the day after a devastating earthquake and tsunami changed the island nation forever. I arrived at Narita International Airport a couple of hours before millions of Japanese bowed their heads in remembrance around 3:00 PM. To me, it seemed to be situation New Normal. I couldn't help but notice that just as they had that day, flights were scheduled for Sendai Airport which has already been rebuilt enough to accomodate commercial traffic.

The Sendai region remains in recovery. News reports on Japanese television showed the clean up progress that now requires disposing mountains of debris. The images are just as jarring as the initial destruction.

As for my family, they continue with their own version of Japanese normal, with one exception. The kids go to school, their dad goes to work, but when they get home, they will likely be greeted by Archie. Archie originally came to us as a foster. He was found among the debris in the Sendai region. When we got him, he had been on his own for a couple of months. He was very thin and very dirty.

While we hoped that he would be reunited with his family one day, they were never located. So now he lives with us. He's a good kitty. He likes to hunt feet and cries incessantly when he wants attention.

I can't help but think that overall, we've been moving towards a New Normal. So many things have changed in the world since the turn of the century. It makes me wonder if a post apocalypse world is something that actually happens gradually, without us even noticing it.

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