It has been a dizzying past several days. Across the world, humankind has trembled in awe as the extent of devastation wrought by the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in the Pacific has been revealed in in piecemeal reports on our television and internet, as if each garish report by the 24hr news stations, always in glorious technicolor, were pellets being dispensed to waiting lab rats. With the addition of the crisis at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, each time I turn to CNN to get my pellet of news, the metallic tang of fear creeps up the back of my throat. With every loading of a webpage I wonder if this is the time the picture will display an innocuous white cloud blanketing northern Japan, carrying with it the brutal death so associated with sibling cities in the distant Southwest of that same nation.
For those of us aware of the flows of wyrd, it has been a particularly bewildering time. Rarely have such great shifts in the path of our whole planet’s wyrd been so bound up in so many concentrated variables and so few puny humans battling such terrific and incomprehensible demons. As I write this evening, only fifty or so people remain on station at Fukushima Daiichi. Fifty champions of their nation pitted in battle against a demon who once wreaked such devastation on their land that it shaped their culture for more than half a century. One who even as I type is threatening to break the man-made bindings that have chained it to human ends for forty years.
Unit 01 breaking free of her armor, the Akira Explosion, Vash the Stampede’s barren world, the Japanese have been preparing their culture and children for the possibility that they might fight and loose this battle for decades.
I am not Japanese. I am not in death’s path if those bindings are broken. And yet, it may be that the wyrd of our entire world rests on the outcome of this struggle. With every new variable, fuel tank left unfilled for too long, or on the reverse, a cooling pump restored with moments to spare, the wyrd shifts and eddies. Unlike my sister, the wyrd does not come to me as a great branching tree. The flows of fate carry me along and from my place in the deep and swift river, I can feel the oncoming turns and forks of fate. But these last few days, as if to echo the catalyst of catastrophe (for surely it is already that, even if no further harm is done) the flows of wyrd have tossed and built, only to settle momentarily before resuming their chaotic dance.
As a wyrd worker, all I can do is struggle to keep my head above water and ride the waves that crash through time and space as the battle at Fukushima Daiichi wages into its seventh day.
Why though does this endeavor so bind the whole world’s fate? Humankind has chained many demons throughout our history. The one engaged at Fukushima Daiichi is impatient, and when it slips the wards of steel, concrete, water, and technology that we have used to constrain it, it takes its revenge swiftly and brutally.
However, even as the eyes of the world are turned to Northern Japan, we have become aware of a far more patient sibling pressed into humanity’s service long earlier, whose own retribution crept up on us slowly. In our quest for swift transportation, heat, and power, we allied ourselves with one who poisons the air we breath and the water we drink, not to mention ensnaring those that benefit from its bounty in deadly internecine conflict. This demon may be far more deadly in the long run than the one struggling to break free at Fukushima Daiichi.
Idealists who have been forced to view the world through pragmatic eyes, believe that until we can discover a whole new way to survive, perhaps a new demon bound in undreamt of bindings, our best hope for beating back the slow and patient poisoner may very well be to rely far more heavily on the bounty of the impatient and brutal demon that even now threatens to destroy its tamers.
Alas, we are mortal and given the choice, slow and uncertain poison is often given preferential treatment over a swift and deadly blow. If the beast at Fukushima Daiichi breaks free, it is unlikely that we will embrace it as an ally against the slow poisoner, even if no other strong allies can be found. Shortsighted though that may be, it is also very human, and the decades delay before those events fade into distant memory may bring far greater harm upon us as the poisoner gains ground.
And so, it may be that the wyrd of a species rests of the shoulders of fifty brave souls. Or, it may not. As I strive to sift understanding from the tumultuous currents of the wyrd, I can not be sure of where the river flows.
As in counterpoise I go again, rat-like, for the pellets of information passed out by the news, it occurs to me how very like the turbulent wyrd their meager scraps are. The truth is that we are all caught up in the waves of fate that waves of water have unleashed upon our world.
We hold our breath together and wait for sun.