I have this weird thing with Tsunamis. I have nightmares about them all the time. In fact, the night before the March 11 2011 Tsunami I had a dream that I was in one (which was really weird, having not known about the tsunami at all before I went to bed that night).
So every once in awhile I think about these disasters and feel the need to face whatever this fear (or whatever) is. Last night was one of those times. We watched this amazing documentary on Youtube about the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. I highly recommend it. In fact, I will post the video here if you want to watch it.
The Indian Ocean Tsunami claimed 250,000 lives on December 26, 2004. 250,000 people!! Doesn’t that fricken blow your mind?!? According to the U.S. Census, there are 210,000 people living in Spokane, WA. So it would be like the entire population of Spokane dying. I can’t even wrap my mind around it. It is so horrifically devastating.
The documentary follows the Tsunami’s path of destruction through the Indian Ocean. Survivors are interviewed and video footage from their cameras are included, so you can see what they went though.
You might wonder why I put myself through this. Why do I watch films or read books that recount such suffering? I don’t know, really. But I do know that hearing the stories of people who have been though such things makes me feel a little bit more compassionate. So maybe that is why. Maybe sometimes I need a dose of compassion so I can feel connected with my fellow humans.
The film is very very sad, but there is also a bit of hope in there too. In the video footage you will see that people help each other. Sometimes they are not successful, but the point is that they try to save their fellow man, even when they are in danger. It made me realize that people are good. Deep down at the core they are good.
Last night I had a dream that I was driving down a coastal highway with someone I’ve never seen before in real life. We were driving a minivan, a Volkswagon bus or something like that. The wind was blowing really hard (as it had been for real yesterday evening) and we could feel it hit the van as we drove down the highway. Up ahead the ocean surged over the road and was flooding everything. There were cars floating. It was too late to stop and we drove right into disaster. Our van floated out to sea. I was very afraid and so was the person driving the vehicle. I think there may have been children in the car too. But, somehow, we floated back to shore and we were o.k. Scared to death, but o.k.
I am also very sad to see that, while not as horrible as Japan, our West Coast is getting battered too. Santa Cruz, a town very near to my heart, has had lots of damage as well. Not good.
Today is my 42nd birthday. It’s been a good day for me, personally. But also not so good with all of the troubling news in the world.
One of my favorite traditions the past few year has been my birthday limerick from the mister. For some reason a few years ago he woke up with the amazing talent of being able to come up with limericks in his head, so he writes me one on my birthday. It started with my 40th. When I was leaving for work he was working on it so I’ll post it here when he’s finished.
Finally, another silly tradition is to take a self portrait on my birthday. So here it is.
I’ve been horrified by the tsunamis in Asia. Words cannot describe how utterly devastating this is. It is just beyond words. I just read that the death toll has reached 80,000. 80,000 people have died from this! It’s hard to comprehend.
A recurring nightmare that I have involves getting swept away by waves into the ocean. My home is overcome by waves and it drifts out into the ocean…pretty much exactly what I have been seeing in the video footage that they have been replaying on the news. I’ve been watching my nightmare actually happen to people on the other side of the world.
It could happen here, apparently. And I live a few blocks from the ocean. It makes me shudder.
I’m going to donate some money to the Red Cross. I don’t have much to give, but every little bit helps. I encourage everyone reading this to do the same. Imagine if everyone gave at least five bucks….And the relief effort is going to have to rely on the goodwill of people since the Bush administration has said that the U.S. is only giving an initial 35 million. A mere pittance! It’s embarrassing. Let’s all do our part to help these poor people.