Journal: News & Comment

Wednesday, December 20, 2000
# 11:26:00 AM:

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A tiny sample of shattered life

Yesterday evening, a large glass measuring bowl fell from a shelf in our kitchen, hit the coffee maker, and exploded like a bomb. My wife and two daughters were in the kitchen at the time, and only my youngest (11 months old) was spared from the flying glass. My wife received a couple of cuts to her face, and my older daughter (almost three) had minor wounds on both her feet.

The sound of the crash brought me running out of the bathroom. We all spent the next couple of hours removing glass splinters, putting on bandages, and cleaning up the mess. We had to throw out a number of things, including some food and the coffee maker.

I hope it's not trivializing, but the experience gave me a (thankfully) very small taste of what it must be like when something really serious but unexpected happens, like an earthquake, a robbery, or a real bomb. I can only imagine the disorientation, shock, and chaos that are a regular part of life for people living in war zones or under other reigns of terror. It made me glad we don't.

A friend of ours was teaching in Kobe, Japan when it was struck by an earthquake in 1995. His apartment was supremely messed up, but he was lucky that his building didn't collapse, as others nearby did. He remained for a few weeks, but in the end being there was too difficult, physically and emotionally, and he moved back to Canada. He is now a teacher here.

In our simpler life, everything's cleaned up now, except for the occasional random shard of glass we find. I bought a new coffee maker later last evening, and by 11:00 p.m. we were all in bed, safely asleep.


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