Friday, February 24, 2012

Phoenix Rising

The Atlantic Monthly recently put out a series of before/after photographs for the Japanese tsunami from last year, March 11, 2011.

At first, I thought they were before the tsunami/ after the tsunami pictures, I compared conditions before and after and wondered what it would be like to see a scene I'm familiar with destroyed beyond recognition.  I was again humbled by the events.  

However, the pictures didn't quite jive.  Buildings that appeared in the tsunami pictures didn't exist in the non-tsunami pictures.  Now granted, I have no doubt that a tsunami that can move ships far inland can move houses and buildings with abandon.  But...

So I read the caption and realized that these were pictures of the recovery's before and after: before - March 2011 and after - January to February 2012.  

My whole perspective changed.  This is no longer a story simply of a people and a country faced with the task of picking up the pieces; this is a story of a people who have done much to rise from the ashes.  This is a story of hope and courage and of a people who have faced their challenges and are moving on.  It's a beautiful and moving commentary on the human spirit.  

I highly recommend it.  

You can view the series here.  


  1. That was amazing, thank you for sharing that Erin!

  2. wow, erin, that's an amazing article!