STARS OF JOY IN JAPAN DISASTER

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“The stars came out. I noticed them WITH JOY  because they were much brighter in the purer darkness.”  —  Jason Kelly, Japan

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Full Quote:

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In the Quake Zone

So it went. Wave after wave coursed through the land, sending power lines swinging and roofs crashing and the ocean surging. The trains stopped. The emergency announcement system blared that the power had gone out due to the quake.

As darkness descended and still the power stayed out, people lit candles in their homes. I moved around the city to see how it coped with the situation, even as the tremors continued. Traffic lights didn’t work, so cars edged their way cautiously into big intersections until the police showed up later to direct. Islands of light betrayed where emergency power had kicked in: the hospital standing tall and staying busy, a home for the elderly that was a type of hospital itself, vending machines that apparently contain batteries to keep selling drinks through any crisis.

A few convenience stores had power, but quickly no food except the dried, instant variety, and then even that was gone. People bought magazines, which I thought odd until I saw by the looks on their faces that what they sought was a part of normal life that had seemed so banal half a day earlier. In a snap, anything that symbolized that placid pace through a typical day became valuable, so off the shelves it flew.

Darkness fell, really fell when no man-made glows pushed against it in a million domes of modernity. The stars came out. I noticed them with joy because they were much brighter in the purer darkness. They made me think of soldier stories where men noticed something beautiful in nature as they fought, like a flower on the edge of a foxhole or a red-winged bird singing on a branch shot through with holes. I observed the world through no such dire circumstance, but the post-quake landscape gave me enough of a nudge in that direction to better understand my fellow man under duress.

I climbed a hill at the edge of town to look down on the sea of darkness. It was creepy. Where usually an endless field of lights extends to Tokyo, only a few areas of light appeared. Directly below the hill, eerie pools of headlights moved slowly around, many looking for missing family members who were unable to take the trains home. There were no city lights around the cars, just the headlight pools drifting along invisible grids like ghosts shaken from their graves.

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Wow.  Great descriptive writing about the headlights.  And the stars quote was very touching! especially under the circumstances.  I remember well a similar breathtaking sight (minus the tragic Japanese surroundings) in the Colorado Rockies at approx. 9,000 feet.  The sky was such a velvet’y black, & the massive display of stars — multiplied beyond any number you could ever imagine near city lights — looked so close you felt you could reach up & touch them with your fingertips.  Simply awe-inspiring!

He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.” — Psalms 147:4

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BTW, tonight 3/19/11 is “Super Moon” night, the first time since 1992 that the moon will be this close to the earth.  It’s supposed to appear a bit bigger than normal — the biggest at sunset — due to that fact:

http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/16mar_supermoon/

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Above Jason Kelly Quotes Source:

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Jason Kelly is an author and blogger living in Japan:


Jason Kelly | Money, Politics, and Society: http://jasonkelly.com/

He has been documenting events at his blog since the earthquake hit last week. In his latest post, aptly titled Cleaned Out, Kelly gives us a picture tour of a grocery store in Sano, Japan, about 40 miles northwest of Tokyo.

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“What Your Grocery Store Will Look Like In An Emergency”:

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