Today I turned on my computer as usual, ready to upload images for another Photo Friday post. Then I saw the news: earthquake in Sendai, tsunami to follow.
In fact, it wasn’t even on the news as I used to know it (an official reporter on the radiowaves or television.) It was six small words at the top of my browser, a space too small to command much attention. Until today, when I learned that six small words are more than enough to both have and describe an impact.
“Earthquake in Sendai; Tsunami to Follow”
Just two weeks ago I was in Sendai. My mind thinks I empathise equally with all victims of natural disasters; my heart realises the difference. News of Sendai felt visceral. Breathlessness raced through my chest and made my eyes sting.
I’d been planning a light-hearted article to introduce some of the performers I’d met in Sendai in their lavish samurai gear. Or perhaps the oyster shellers who worked along the coast or the women who threaded Buddhist prayer beads in full view of the ocean. The ludicrous shot of me forced to pose with maiko dancers and samurai warriors.
But I’ll save that last one for another time.
Instead, here are photos of Sendai and nearby Matsushima Bay. Photos taken before the earthquake. I can only hope that the people in these images, who greeted me with such friendliness and respect, are safe today.