Thursday, March 17, 2011

Over here

I should stop obsessing about the situation in Japan - I've been flipping back and forth between Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Guardian, Australian, NHK, 朝日新聞 (Asahi Shimbun), BBC and even al-Jazeera since Friday. I guess I've been trying to bear some sort of witness to suffering I'm powerless to respond to (something I've used this blog for before, most acutely when b(r)ushfires threatened to destroy where my parents and sister live), and to express solidarity with Japanese people in suspended animation, waiting for the final shoe to drop on the nuclear plants (whatever it turns out to be). You won't think I'm forgetting if I spend a little time on the activities of this week here in New York - it's our Spring Break (though Spring has yet to arrive).

I went yesterday to the American Museum of Natural History, ostensibly for its rather meager collection of Aboriginal Australian artifacts, which are quite upstaged by the other objects in the Hall of Pacific Peoples,
but there's so much else there,
and so many people to watch (though this one may have been watching Japan). And those rhinos standing stock still in the glass case above - if mama even turned her head there would be shards everywhere! - from Sumatra.

Today it was the turn of the New Museum - my first visit - a bit of a disappointment, though Lynda Benglis' gorgeous "wax paintings" really appealed to me; they reminded me of the fusion of human craft and nature's randomness of, yes, Japanese pottery.

But the highlight of the week has been the great pleasure and privilege of seeing the Signature Theatre Company revival of Angels in America - Part I on Tuesday from the second row, and Part II last night from the first. It's a great play, and magnificently theatrical. What a treat.
In the scene where Prior goes up to heaven to return the book, the angels are gathered around an old radio listening to a BBC radio broadcast about a nuclear disaster four months in the future. It's Chernobyl, of course, but I'm sure every one in that theater heard Fukushima.

Always on our minds. Prayers.

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