Friday, March 11, 2011


    I was completely absorbed by what I saw coming from the screen last night.
The Japanese NHK network was feeding live helicopter footage of a wave, scourging cars, structures, land and even fire as it rolled ahead collecting everything in its path.
       I've seen devastation after nature's rage.  I've flown over tornado strewn paths of debris, over flood swollen rivers, to raging infernos to report. I understand how life can change in a moment, but the footage coming from Japan was particularly riveting.
       Living on the west coast, we were put on Tsunami alert.  Beaches were off limits for morning walks, roads were closed and some communities were evacuated. This area was spared any consequence, though to the north, Crescent City and Santa Cruz report damage to marinas, boats and piers.
       Friends call, text and e-mail, inquiring, some worrying, but here we are fine.  The story remains the suffering and devastation in Japan.

       Life on this terrestrial sphere is fragile.  The earth is a living planet, still forming.
I remember standing on the lip of Pua Ou Ou, the caldera crater of Kilauea, the Hawaiian volcano with the longest history of eruption. As I stood there on the rim with USGS leader Donald Swanson, the earth shook beneath us and a jet engine sound  emerged from the lava cap accompanied with a cloud of black sulfurous gas.  It was like an earthquake, called a gas piston tremor.  I knew in that instant  this "mother earth" is not done, it is a work in progress.
       Here our wait was simple, but a reminder none the less that regardless of our powers, we are still subject to the forces of nature. Every moment is indeed precious and sacred.

        I enjoyed it,but it could have been better.  It's based on a Phillip K. Dick sci-fi short story and while I like some of Dick's work, many seem a little short of something. I think  he wrote short stories when sometimes he could/should have done a full novel.  
        Dick had his demons--he was an amphetamine addict and and short stories were easier for him to knock out. I think his personal life kept him from throwing full attention to what were often his great premises. 
        The acting is good---the premise is intgriguing, the directing keeps the pace and interest up, but it could have delved more deeply into the background underpinning premise of the story---free will and choice vs fate. It just never got into that conundrum deeply and instead became a love story/thriller. It is fun to watch, but....
       There is a great scene where Mr. Thompson (Terrence Stamp) and David Norris (Matt Damon) are talking about the matter of free will. I thought it was a highlight of the film, but alas, not enough of it.  
        Where The Inception and the original Matrix had shadings of philosophy/theology and provoked thought along those lines, the Adjustment Bureau comes up a little short.  
See you down the trail.


  1. After seeing all the natural disasters that have occurred here in Australia, in New Zealand and now in Japan ... it is a vivid & very real reminder of how fragile our place in this earth really is. Mother Earth is moaning & groaning a lot of late & it's all a bit scary!

  2. Katherine:
    It is a bit scary. All the more reason to enjoy when we can. I hope your relatives and your wonderful land are beginning to heal.