A sidebar post for Christopher Carr



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7 Responses

  1. 1. I’m okay.
    2. My family is okay too. We’re staying with my parents outside of Boston.
    3. Nothing will ever be like it was before. Our life in Fukushima as we knew it is finished. Even if I wanted to go back, the economy of the city has changed profoundly, even as it is just starting to spring to life again, and there is little work there for someone like me.

    For us, it’s not so bad. We were planning on coming to the States in June anyways, so this just sped things up (as well as simplifying our visa process). But my wife comes from an extended family whose income derives heavily from craft agriculture, so we’re concerned about them. Even if the ground level radiation in my city is declared not dangerous, no one is going to want Fukushima peaches anymore. The area will have to reinvent itself.

    It’s really hard to explain, but I feel a deep sense of guilt for being able to leave so easily and doing so and even gaining from leaving. I haven’t been writing or commenting since the earthquake outside of my Facebook page, which is updated daily with the best foreign media reports on the situation to supplement the generally understated coverage my friends in Japan are getting from the Japanese media.

    As far as what’s up, we were traveling for two weeks afterwards, then once we got to the States, I was busy for a couple weeks collecting donations from random friends and distant relatives which were so shockingly abundant that I’m now in the process of registering a charitable corporation to manage them. I’m planning a variety of big fundraising events for the future in the Boston area if anyone’s around here and wants to participate.

    The last week or so I’ve started to tweak my resume and draft some cover letters for jobs around here. Other than that, I’ll be starting a premed postbacc night program in September. I’m strongly considering writing a full-length book about the event, since it has more or less consumed all of my attention for the last month plus and it would be a tremendous waste not to (I also feel it’s a moral imperitive). Besides that, I’ve been spending a lot of time at the playground with my older daughter. It’s funny to watch her try to speak to the other kids in Japanese.

    I’m going to be at my computer working on cover letters for the next few hours, which is something I can’t stand doing; so I’ll be happy to take copious breaks to answer any other questions.Report

    • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      Record everything. Simply sit down in a headset, hit the audio record button and lay it out, making an entry for every day since the event. Even if it’s only a few seconds for each day, it’s gold for your book.Report

      • Thanks, BlaiseP. I have various Facebook walls as a record of exactly what went on, since we self-organized and communicated everything through Facebook 3G. I may sit down with a recorder and just ramble as I scroll through that again.Report

        • Avatar BlaiseP in reply to Christopher Carr says:

          You won’t regret the investment in a good headset, if you’re intent upon writing a book. You’ll make hundreds of entries, just for yourself. Organize them by day. I’m someone who spent many years debriefing and interrogating both friends and enemies. Memory is like fresh fish, or fresh fruit; it decays, dessicates, solidifies, outgasses.

          i ro ha ni ho he to
          chi ri nu ru wo
          wa ka yo ta re so
          tsu ne na ra muReport

    • > It’s really hard to explain, but I feel a deep sense of
      > guilt for being able to leave so easily and doing so
      > and even gaining from leaving.

      It’s why soldiers re-up for their third tour in Afghanistan. It’s why people post-Katrina are still suffering stress even though their own situation might be improving. It’s the entire premise of Denis Leary’s show about NYFD.

      Try not to get fixated on your relative luck, it can poison your brain in really odd ways long-term. Kiddos are resilient but adults have really complex responses to this sort of thing.Report

    • (Sorry I hadn’t written back.)

      I am pleased that you and yours are well (and, strangely, I’m pleased that you’re back in the US).

      Be good to yourself. I wish I had good advice to give about how to best process. Blaise gave excellent advice, I think. Good luck.Report