South East Asia :: March - June 1995

Subject: Kobe.
Date: June 12, 1995 10:10

19:17 Kobe , Kansai Prefecture-Japan :: 11 JUN 95

Sunlight sifts through leafy boughs. Green-tinged it swaddles the room with peaceful rays. Two walls of glass panes open to nature's embrace. City streets and city worries seem far removed.

"Do you hear it?"


"The sound."

For a long time I don't. Then it rises above the bird song, above the gentle breeze that worries the wind chimes; even above the subduing hum of distant traffic. But long before my searching ears pick it out, she hears it-her mind rises to it-she hears the siren.

One crisp January morning while the sun still slumbered, the earth rose up. It heaved and shimmied, bucked and careened. And when it stopped, the sirens began.

Fires to extinguish. Injured rushed to hospitals. Those still trapped to dig out. Infrastructure to restore. Debris to clear. A siren accompanied each fervent journey. Through a fortnight they sounded every minute of every hour of every day.

In many ways she was more fortunate than most. Though the contents of her home skittered and fell to lie jumbled and broken, though foundations and beams had creaked and moaned, the four walls stood and the roof remained intact. Her home could be reassembled.

But sitting amongst the shattered contents, she heard the sirens.

Patrick. -- Responses Sought --

My nature is subdued
To what it works in, like the dyer's hand.
  graphical element Shakespeare