Drowning End-Of-The-World Thoughts With Tsunamic Love

In Japanese, the name Ai means- love.

(Says meaning-of-names.com)

If the tsunami in Japan sent waves of panic and end-of-the-world thoughts (and jokes) around the globe, I could only think of that statement.

In Japanese, the name Ai means- love.

Our social conscience  would tug at our heart strings, feel for Japan, and offer a prayer or a minute of silence. Some people would go as far as to invoke your guilt and tell you to repent so that you be reserved a space in heaven come judgement day. I have nothing against this. But I’m not crazy about it either.

I’m crazy about that statement,

In Japanese, the name Ai means- love.

What this tsunami affirms, in my worldview, is the dialectics of nature and social relations crumbling, getting better, being normal, crumbling again (worse this time), getting better, normal again. I would like to think that the Earth has a life of its own, undergoing menopausal struggles or maybe a migraine because of how badly we treat it, but whatever happens, this kind of thing going on has been going on for years, tsunamis and nuclear plant explosions, some people die, some people live, we pick a lesson or two, and we continue to love. Not to panic.

I can’t say it’s more challenging to live nowadays than say 50 years ago because I wouldn’t want to live during the world war years when Japan sent a panic of terror in some countries like the Philippines. It’s challenging today, every day, as it was yesterday. Years after Japan’s brand of monstrosity was written in the pages of world history, Japan recuperated by building itself an economic and cultural empire that almost made us forget why Japan ever bothered to excel in the first place. In its efforts to compromise with the dark history they themselves want to obliterate, Japan gave us the animé, mangga, gaming consoles, and other pop culture items that seem to take us to a different layer of reality where their realities and the rest of the world’s realities may meet.

I know Japan shall rise again. In stories, we need conflicts to get the story going from boring to engaging to gripping. Lately, we have reports that Japan is not performing that well in the economic realm. Perhaps the “huge surges of water that washed fleets of cars, boats and entire houses across coastal Sendai” is the splash of water your mother(land) would use on you to wake you up from over-sleeping.

And Japan seem to take this as a fair call, as evident in this report (My Paper, 14 march’11):

…more impressive is the stoic calm which the Japanese exhibited in the face of a massive earthquake, a 10m-high tsunami, and a still-unfolding nuclear emergency…

there was a surreality in the contrast between the orderliness of evacuees reportedly waiting at traffic lights before crossing roads, and the devastating extent of the physical destruction that the triple disasters had wreaked.

…there was no panicking, even after passengers had been trapped on the train for about seven hours.

…it…speaks volumes of the Japanese’s legendary civility and deep reserves of social discipline.

For the love of their nation and their worth in this universe, they seem to be bent on reconstructing their identity and history for the last couple of decades. Their love of life, and understanding of how Life can treat you, amaze me. And I wonder why people out there are panicking more than the Japanese do.

As for me, in times like this, it’s my call to love, and love more, because…

In Japanese, the name Ai means- love.

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rene
rene
11 years ago

“like”

Jedo
11 years ago

Amen, and amen, Ms. Ai. That the Japanese are staying cool while the rest of the world (almost) have their panties in a twist makes for entertaining piece of news/conversation verging on hilarious/ridiculous. Speaking of panic, did you get/hear about the SMS with breaking news supposedly from the BBC, that the Philippines would get hit by the radiation wave from the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear power plants? My mom went bonkers when she got that text (not because she’s gullible, but because the message came from our family physician, who also happens to be my grandmum). The moment she… Read more »

aileen
11 years ago

@Jedo your comment had me smiling from start to finish! thanks for dropping by! I learned of the SMS scam day after it spread. I saw it on news (TFC’s TV patrol) and read it in the papers. Headline went something like, “Philippines struck by radiation fear because of fake text messages.” It was ridiculous! In the middle of reports of grief-stricken Japan and inspiring stories, there’s a tiny report about that country that panicked like crazy. Those who feared for their lives should read about the Fukushima 50–the fifty faceless, nameless workers in the Fukushima nuclear plant who volunteered… Read more »

Jedo
11 years ago

Glad my comment made you smile, Ms. Ai. No problemo. We former students of yours make sure to drop by here from time to time (though I’m quite late to the party) because we miss you and we want to find out what you’ve been up to since we saw you last. Speaking of which, are you still in Singapore? Pasalubong! Hehe Anyway, yeah, the Fukushima 50 are heroes. I read somewhere that there are actually 181 people working the power plant (a minimum 50 people work at one time), with alternating shifts so as to minimize the adverse effects… Read more »

aileen
11 years ago

of course i remember you!

Onga, the fukushima 50 is actually a 50-person shift team composed of 180-200 persons. Im still in singapore yes, and i hope to see you when i come home in the philippines for your pasalubong. 🙂

but i dont know when that would be. anyway. where do i find you? 😀

Jedo
11 years ago

Hehe. I knew you’d still remember me. 🙂

Yay! I get a souvenir from Singapore! The “when” won’t be a problem, I’m staying in one place in the next few years or so, at least that’s the plan. As for the “where”, that’s easy. I’m practically in the heart of Metro Manila and I know my way around the Metro. I’m sure we’ll figure something out. 😀

In the meantime, take care, and be safe. I know you’re taking in as much as you can from the experience, so I won’t say “Enjoy!” anymore. 😉

eng
eng
11 years ago

i love love..i love ai 🙂 i miss you…when i’m stressed i just go to your site and i’m alive again. yeah!

aileen
11 years ago

oh wow, thanks, thats heart-warming. i hope your work doesnt stress you much, eng.

this article took me five hours to write, i think. while watching and reading news about japan. it was a downer and there was a need to drain all the negative vibes and so this was the result. 🙂


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