“Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

 (Since publication, I have since been informed that this image is actually from a 2010 movie, After Shock. Now I’m perplexted as to whether or not I should delete the image since it is produced. Does that make it less powerful? Thoughts?)

” . . . but when the pain is unmerited, the grief is resistless.” ~ Ovid

I have not been this haunted by a photograph since I saw the photograph of an old man carrying his starving child on his shoulders in Ethiopia.  I still have this curled, yellow newspaper image somewhere in my collection of clippings and pictures.

I am reminded of Kate Daniels’s poem “War Photograph,” which references the Pulitzer-Prize winning photograph by AP photographer Nick Ut. The iconic 1972 image depicts a naked, burned child (nine-year-old Kim Phúc) running away from her village, which has been napalmed.

Following is information that I have culled from various sources regarding yesterday’s events in Japan and the Pacific:

Japan was hit by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded on Friday. The magnitude-8.9 quake spawned a deadly tsunami that slammed into the nation’s east coast, leaving a huge swath of devastation in its wake. Hundreds of people are dead and many more are still missing or injured.

Japan has often donated when other countries have experienced disasters, such as when Hurricane Katrina impacted the United States. Below are organizations that are working on relief and recovery in the region.

AMERICAN RED CROSS: Emergency Operation Centers are opened in the affected areas and staffed by the chapters. This disaster is on a scale larger than the Japanese Red Cross can typically manage. Donations to the American Red Cross can be allocated for the International Disaster Relief Fund, which then deploys to the region to help. Donate here.

GLOBALGIVING: Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donate here.

SAVE THE CHILDREN: Mobilizing to provide immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency health care and provision of non-food items and shelter. Donate here.

SALVATION ARMY: The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1895 and is currently providing emergency assistance to those in need. Donate here.

AMERICARES: Emergency team is on full alert, mobilizing resources and dispatching an emergency response manager to the region. Donate here.

CONVOY OF HOPE: Disaster Response team established connection with in-country partners who have been impacted by the damage and are identifying the needs and areas where Convoy of Hope may be of the greatest assistance. Donate here.

: Putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities. Donate here.

SHELTER BOX: The first team is mobilizing to head to Japan and begin the response effort. Donate here.

Yuki Kajiura, “Hear Our Prayer”

6 thoughts on ““Anything, anything would be better than this agony of mind, this creeping pain that gnaws and fumbles and caresses one and never hurts quite enough.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

  1. I wrote something first that sounded angry (at the Japanese gov’t.). Then I deleted it. I am angry for the risk created by 55 nuclear reactors, but I also know that anger can make you feel empowered when the alternative is just shock and awe. Anger in the face of tragedy is an attempt to control the uncontrollable. I have trouble just accepting what is. It’s actually pretty unbelievable what happened. Unimaginable. And it’s hard to be angry at natural events, like earthquakes, like tsunamis. We are NOT in control. We are ants on an unstable anthill.

    1. It’s all right to be angry at the governments. Don’t ever feel that you need to censor yourself on my site. You are right, though. We are definitely not in control, and that sense of having absolutely no ability to do anything is such a horrible feeling.

  2. Hi Lita,
    The sheer disaster which is continuing in Japan is beyond belief, As I write I am watching one of the nuclear plants exploding. Such is the devastation that is difficult to imagine life will ever resemble what it did pre-earthquake.
    What is going on in the world? Disaster after disaster, every week another country and more death and destruction! You have to ask why? Are we altering the delicate balance of nature so much that we have brought all this upon ourselves? Is it cyclical? I don’t profess to know anything about the why’s and where for’s but I do think about what is going on in the world.. often. Sort of gives credence to the adage of living each day as if it is your last doesn’t it?
    I agree with you about the photo too. That image of the young child running down the road will never be erased from my memory.
    Big hugs

    1. Maureen,
      If you think about just the past two years and all of the natural disasters that have hit and the epic scale of destruction and death, it really does give one cause to pause, doesn’t it? I think that you’re onto something about our (humanity) altering the delicate balance of nature. For too long, we have just done as we pleased with little thought for the long-term results, and now we are beginning to be hit with the results–one after another, in quick succession.
      Big hugs,

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