It doesn`t feel like it has been a month. It seems like has been far shorter and far longer than that, all at the same time. Shorter, because the tension has still not eased, because sometimes I turn on the news and I still don't believe the characters I read. Longer, because there have been so many twists and turns in the situation, each day bringing a unique aftershock or news scare.
It is as if time restarted itself on March 11th and now moves at an entirely different pace, one that I am still not used to.
If the 9.0 on March 11th can be likened to a bad dream, the 7.1 of April 11th was more like a bad joke. According to the news, there have been 400 aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 and above throughout the past month.
On Friday afternoon I am sitting in yet another stopped train in Ikebukuro station. I look out the window of the car towards a Kiosk, where the cover of a daily tabloid paper falls over the news rack. "止まらない” it reads in large white characters printed over a darkened page. "It never stops."
Presumably, this refers to the 7.4 "aftershock" that took place the evening prior. I feel guilty for relating to the headline. Surely, it is not meant for me. It must refer to the situation up north, where countless people have lost their homes and their loved ones. Here in Tokyo, we have merely lost our minds.
Which brings me to the cherry blossoms. In the week after the first quake and tsunami, a friend told me, half-joking, that we really don`t need to see the cherry blossoms bloom and fall this year. We get it. Life is impermanent. We don't need to be reminded yet again.
But maybe we do.
The cherry blossoms teach us that nothing lasts forever, still this concept is not necessarily limited to beauty. Pain and anxiety cannot possibly endure forever either. Rebirth and recovery are just as inevitable.
That said, the cherry blossoms may be just what we need right now.
With so much in mind, I am pleased to say that I have made my very second ever youtube video. It was so exciting to create that I even forgot to worry about the aftershocks for a little while. I hope you like it too!