March 11, 2011: Precious

Although I have been accused of finding good in nuclear war (for real), there’s precious little to find good about what’s happened in Japan. Reflecting on this (after watching countless videos of the massive destruction), feeling that disaster, I walked through the rain to the Market Basket, a supermarket half a block from my house.

Always crowded, the store was especially packed today. Threading my way through the congestion of shopping carts, customers just finished at the check-out lines and wheeling their carts towards the exits and people like me, simply trying to get past all that to actually get to the food, I overheard a little boy, grabbing a shopping cart, complain to his mother: “It’s wet!” he whined.

Hey, kid, I  wanted to say. How ’bout being grateful a tsunami hasn’t just smashed into this store and deal!

But of course I didn’t.

But I also, at first, was a little nonplussed: How come everyone’s so normal? I wondered. Why’s everyone so intent on their groceries? The trivialities of their daily lives.

Because it IS normal, here, of course. (Duh) It’s a rainy Friday afternoon, people are shopping in anticipation for the upcoming weekend: nothing special. A wet grocery cart, crowded supermarket aisles, a pretty, bright-eyed little girl sitting in a shopping cart kiddie seat and happily eating a cookie—these are precious! Cans and produce aren’t toppling to the ground, no one’s screaming, the floor, the walls are not rolling.


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