Until a few days ago, when I heard sirens from an ambulance or car, I got a panicking feeling. Such loud, obtrusive sounds came from speeding vehicles. I always thought to myself, "Something bad must have happened."
A few days ago in my geology class, we watched a video about the tsunami and earthquake in Japan in 2011. It was heartbreaking to watch, as one can imagine. With family in South Korea, it was very real and scary at the time to see what might happen to a place full of history, people, and memories. Fortunately, Korea was okay, but at Japan's expense. The images from the video and news clips were very heavy.
They showed a particular scene where they dropped of people to go looking for survivors. They had to look and touch everything in this big pile of rubble and mess to see if a person had been buried underneath it or the sand/mud. They picked up personal items for people like baby photos and wallets and anything they could find to help link people back together and give them an identity.
In one interview with a Japanese woman, she said that when she heard sirens, it was a signal of hope that there was someone alive who might find her. She ended up being rescued and she said the sirens sounded like music to her ear. I kept thinking about this statement because I always experience such negative feelings from hearing sirens.
Today, I was out to dinner and a man bumped into me and moments later, he fell to the ground. He hit his head very hard on the floor of the restaurant. He could have been drinking but he collapsed in a way that made me think that it wasn't alcohol. He laid on the floor for what seemed like several seconds before anyone seemed to notice. A few years ago, I watched two of my friend get hit by a car and time was impossible to tell because I heard things different from when I saw them happen. In reality, people probably helped this man immediately as they saw him faint. One person looked like they called the ambulance. They shouted and said, "Who was this man with?" and people calmly came over and helped him up. No one else in the restaurant seemed to even notice that this man had fallen down. I started thinking about who cared about this man and where the person who loved this man the most was. Was she even there? Was she his wife? Was she not his wife?
He eventually sat up and the party I was with decided it would be best to leave it up to the people now taking care of him to help him. The manager of the restaurant was there now. As we were leaving, I wondered if the man was actually okay and if the other man had actually called the ambulance. What if something had actually happened and he needed to see someone right away? Once we were outside, I heard the ambulance coming.
The sound of the ambulance sounded comforting. This man was going to receive proper medical attention and he would be safe rather than sorry.
Just a little bit ago, I stumbled across a man's blog who wrote about the struggles of watching someone he loves recover from an unknown health issue. He quotes, "As always, it is humbling to observe his moving forward to something that we can only hope for at the moment."
I guess I'm writing this post because I have been struggling with my last video for my video concerto. I had this idea that optimism might be something better than reality. But after learning about the Japanese woman's story, hoping this man receives some care, and reading this blog, optimism can come in the darkest moments and in the strangest of ways. Little by little, the colors of this world invade the darkness with light. And with that, I am off to shoot the rest of my video.