Japan’s earthquake and tsunami: there was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise.

The most heart-breaking and arresting sentence (or, rather, portion of a larger sentence) I’ve encountered on the Japan earthquake and tsunami was penned at Salon this morning by Matt Zoller Seitz:

[W]omen and children walking and in some cases swimming through the remains of cities, yelling the names of loved ones who haven’t been heard from in days.

This is horror: a city’s ambient noise interrupted by earthquake, then coming to a full (and ominously silent) stop, followed by the roar (a bit later) of ocean water—followed by yet another silence: of a cityscape denuded.

But then another sound builds. Like a scene from Dante’s Inferno, the walking and wading dead (that is, the survivors), desperate and incomprehending, cast voices in all directions to loved ones—which return as echoes.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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1 Response to Japan’s earthquake and tsunami: there was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise.

  1. mary says:

    If you want to help, consider Direct Relief International. 100 percent of donations go to the field.
    directrelief.org

    Your giving is further leveraged by the in-kind donations that are given by corporations – medical supplies, flights, and all kinds of other materials.

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