Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Another Perspective on Japan

Some of my fondest memories are of occasions when things went horribly wrong. One of the most romantic moments of my life came as the result of my falling asleep in Barcelona airport one morning. I'd been up all night playing jazz in nightclubs and missed boarding. All passengers were seated, the plane was about to depart, and a kind-hearted airport security woman spotted me, roused me awake, and wrangled me through gate security and onto the plane. I was in a state of disoriented adrenaline rush, so it wasn't until the plane door sealed and I'd clicked on my seat belt that I realized she and I had fallen in love.

Such things don't happen when things go right.

I've found my car stuck in snowbanks in deserted scary areas, and been wordlessly pushed out by mysterious faceless people who disappeared before I could thank them. And one day, years ago, in an overwhelming moment of depression, I pulled over to the side of the road, too sorrowful to drive another inch. "I give up," I gasped, and felt the most enormous peace descend. And of course I remember the luminous beauty of 9/11 as New Yorkers, normally paralyzed by urban social inhibitions, came alive and started caring for each other.

Human beings awaken from their numb stupor when things go terribly wrong. And so it goes in Japan right now. Have a look at
this, and see why I envy them.

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