Like everyone, everywhere, I've been quite distracted by the destructive natural events in Japan and feel enormous sympathy for the people there. Like New Zealand, Japan is affected by movement of the gigantic, relatively mobile, tectonic area known as the Pacific Plate, which covers the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The edge of this plate is known as the 'Ring of Fire' because it is dotted with volcanoes and prone to quakes. Of course, we like to ignore this because the countries around the Ring of Fire are beautiful places to live. Humans... not known for making decisions based on logic.
Although the 'perts are telling us that the Christchurch quakes and Japanese quakes are not related, I'm not sure how they can conclude this. Perhaps they are just trying to quell panic? At this stage, I'm in favour of all experts just opening their mouths to utter one phrase: "we don't know". Really guys, at a certain point, when earthquakes keep popping up all around the Pacific Ring, doesn't that get a bit embarrassing? I'm not sure that anyone really has a handle on what earthly events are connected or what will happen next. We are just not that good at understanding our planet.
We live on a revolving ball that is hurtling through space and is made of plates that basically float around on a bed of soft rock and magma. I guess we can expect things to move now and then - although it would be preferable if the earth could master the art of small movements. Sometimes I like to think about the celestial reality of our existence and feel simultaneously awed, terrified, and angry that humans treat the earth (and space, come to think of it) with such disrespect. We have no real idea about the forces at play and yet feel quite happy to continue sucking whatever we can out of the earth and pumping the poisonous by-products into the atmosphere. Sometimes, rather than fall into a funk about it all, I find it's best to just think about something else.... like people that inspire me.
Today, for those asleep at the back, was the Run for Christchurch. This inspiring and enterprising group of runners have not only raised almost $10,000 for the Red Cross here in Christchurch, but also managed to surprise themselves by creating something of a global event - a truly amazing effort. Although the Japanese disaster has rightly taken the full attention of the media, this does not diminish the level of need here in Christchurch - a fact that is sorely obvious to those of us that see it every day - and every cent will be well spent. To everyone that participated or donated, I would like to send a big "Thank you" and "Well Done!". I would have been running myself except for the little issue of agonising backpain.
Whinging about my condition seems petty considering the current level of global catastrophe, but I have to admit that today I'm a bit pathetic. The second and third days after a disc blowout are generally the worst, so I'm just taking it easy and popping a panadol if it gets too extreme. Although I could get a strong prescription painkiller, my general preference is to feel a bit of pain so that I know when I might be causing myself more damage. Today I managed a trip to the shops with my mum (Mamasana) who got back from overseas yesterday - she carried the heavy stuff and bought lunch ;)
She also turned up with gifts from my sister in Liechtenstein. Who couldn't feel a bit better with this little pile of wonderfulness in hand?