Last night on the news I watched people be interviewed about the flooding near their homes because of the typhoon. I don’t know if I am imagining this, but I watched a woman show exactly how high the waters had come up on an internal staircase in her house. “This high,” she indicates with her hand and says it with—I’m not kidding—a jaunty smile. Like she’s amused that water has come into her house. Cut to some old people in a shelter. Same thing, no home, big smile from the guy on the mats in the gym. Am I crazy? Is this because no one had been killed? Is this Shinto communion with nature? Is this because this is a generation that knew life in Japan after World War II?

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