The quake in Sumatra and tsunami have hit so many. This single event travelling on a wave of simultaneity has become a thread joining communities and people, against their will, by happening and consequence. By being joined, we see the true size of the world, which is small. But with each community having some shared quality by which it can be considered together with others, all are placed on a single plane and we can see how far apart they are, and again we see the true size of the world, which is large. Every time an observer looks round the corner, something different. I doubt those involved feel joined. It's like language, or money, or HIV; something - a shared but unshared something - that owns those it touches and forcefully subjectifies them.
This is a multi-headed catastrophe. It resists representation. Maybe all changes are like this. We can only feel its weave, microscopically, along fingers of attempted understanding--bridges made out of stories from people we slightly relate to, that make pictures we can barely make out. My mind slides around and off it, but it sits as a knot in my stomach and doesn't move.
I'm scared it foreshadows. It doesn't feel like a once-in-a-lifetime reconfiguration. When the oceans rise and global warming takes hold, it won't be a slow gradient to a different world, it'll happen like this. The world will be punctured by massively shared encounters, yet each always experienced individually, in parallel, and we'll have to battle against that. This is a modern disaster, a natural fundamentalism, not one that respects our borders, not one that travels the traces of our circuitry.