Today is the two year anniversary of Fukushima Daiichi disaster. In my previous post, Hatsuyume of Peace, I kicked off a new paradigm in the life of this blog with reference to the apocalyptic transition that nuclear energy essentially means for life on earth. This is an enduring creative metaphor, a source of reflection that begs to be heard and never left in the silent empty ignorance. For, as the unrivalled Persian poet and filmmaker Forugh Farrokhzad said in her landmark film to inspire Iranian New Wave Cinema, a groundbreaking force of thought, emotion and impeccable insight, "There is no shortage of ugliness in the world. If a man closed his eyes to it, there would be even more." Her film, The House is Black is about a leper colony, and the humanization of treatment for a disease that simply requires attention. While the impacts of a nuclear disaster do indeed course through the blood and infect the children of the victims, there is even more recourse to action, to look, and with the kind of remembrance that breathes in the present moment, to see the eyes of the victims as through the eyes of our own children, our own mothers, fathers, and siblings. For there is evidence that it could be forty years or more to clear up the Fukushima disaster, which is the worst of its kind since Chernobyl. The transition of nuclear energy as a weapon, the atom bomb, has essentially moved the world from the era of World War, into an era primarily defined by war over intelligence, the post-cold war era. Vietnam is an example where the government authority of the United States actually never declared war, incapacitating the ability to detonate another atom bomb on a human population in Asia. We are now living in the post-scientific era, and the Age of Reason is long past. Our existence is not defined by scientific knowledge, but of technical know-how.
On an investigative bend, I took the time, as part of the research praxis of a literary arts journal, to go to photographer, Arthur Nishimura's exhibit, "Dream Country" at the largest university in town. In the exhibit, Nishimura creatively interposes landscape photography with prepared or rendered film. I went for the purpose of interviewing others who happened to stroll through the exhibit about the significance of today's anniversary remembrance of Fukushima, not only as a Japanese disaster, but as a world disaster. What do the photos of a globetrotting Japanese nature photographer say about the remembrance of Fukushima? My questions, and my approach to a conscious public as an experimental journalist fell on a silent room. In the last hour of the gallery's opening today, not one person visited Nishimura's exhibit. Instead of heading into abstract philosophic directions regarding the nature of public ignorance, I peered deliberately, patiently and acutely into the breathtaking symbology of a master photographer.
On my return home, on this unusually warm Canadian winter day, I read a very short Associated Press article buried in Metro Calgary on the legacy of Fukushima. In the article, 'Outlook bleak two years later' a quote read, "Everyone, from bureaucrats to construction giants to tattooed gangsters, is trying to prey on decontamination projects. And the government is looking the other way," said Nakamura, who refused to give his first name out to the press for "fear of retaliation". As I reflected on my train ride home through the downtown corridor, passing above rivers of melting ice and the glare of the profound midwestern sky, where the rich sunlight exposes the midriff of an aging humanity, I had a realization. Being human means taking the responsibility that we have as stewards of the land, as a conscious potential unmatched in the known universe. If we do not take responsibility for being human, then there will soon be no more human beings. We do not write the highest law, and we can not speak the highest truth.
____________She sets the stage with a sweeping introduction. In the impeccable garb of a beauty queen in love with life. The public gushes with heart-sleeved pandering. The world is set like a red carpet before her.
|Queen by Sten Porse|
|Female Musician by Anonymous|
|The Ambassadors (detail) by Hans Holbein the Younger|
___________My first exhibition of an original "sounding" in the internal collaboration of creative music with creative writing. Improbability in Upswing, was published at poeticdiversity: the poetry zine of los angeles in December 2012. In my reading, with relation to the content of this post, I am taking off towards the eye of the sun. The teeming cloud-born sky quakes with the burning rush of human flight. Riding through the energetic outpouring of modern rocket fuel, I feel a beneficiary of similar technologic might that burned the bodies and fuelled the fires of war. Nuclear energy is not far distant, and my body begins to churn with the physical imagination of experiential interdependence, smouldering at the cusp of freedom and death.