Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Last Tear

Just when I think I have absolutely no more emotion to express about the bush fire victims and survivors, I find I have more.

Just two little things set me off, one was a letter in the newspaper from some young people at an indigenous school in West Australia. They expressed their empathy deeply for the victims and survivors of our fires, both human and animal and wrote the letter to our Victorian newspaper to tell us. What sweet kids.

Papua New Guinea is a small island to our north, which has been controlled by Germany, England, almost Japan and us and is now supposedly independent, even though we prop it up with our dollars. It is a corrupt and very poor country. Yet the locals in a highland tribal village (obviously one with electric and tv) managed to raise a whole $6,000 to contribute to bush fire survivors. I heard some of the money was raised by car washing. What? They have cars there? I reckon each of these dollars is worth about one thousand dollars of our money.

With no one to discuss the fires with much, ok I did not seek them out, and R and I weren't exactly bosom buddies for the week after the fires for unrelated reasons (put it down to me who worked in 46 deg heat and may have been a bit snappy), I have very much struggled to accept how this disaster happened. People sitting in their houses, watching tv and trying to stay cool with the blinds all drawn caught unaware with no warning. People who had meticulously and expensively prepared their property for a bushfire event, totally failed and died.

There, I think I have ridded myself of some pain.


  1. Going to be a long time before none of us are caught unawares with tears.

  2. "I reckon each of these dollars is worth about one thousand dollars of our money."

    Almost as expensive as our local carwash then.

  3. That, your last paragraph, is indeed what I have found so hard to fathom, so hard to comprehend. And yet, the day after was so cool and I was lying therein the bath, the wind was still ferocious outside and the tree outside my bathroom window was banging on the house and the window and I was thinking, this is not fair.. how scary it must have been!

  4. It seems to be like a grieving process Jayne.

    Get some energetic South Asians washing cars Brian. They do up north and here.

    The best I have heard Cazzie is that it is nature, as was Katrina and QLD floods and many disasters around the world. We may never see it so bad again.

  5. on That Day I was on a tram in Glenhuntly Rd. It was packed.
    I felt sorry for the driver.

    R will make allowance I am sure.
    Rock ON.

  6. If it was Glenhuntly Road FG, the driver probably had personal air con in his/her cabin. Feel worse for passengers.

  7. Re: the fires.........

    I think that the offer of 'evacuate or stay and defend your home', which was freely bandied around gave people a false sense of security that staying was a viable option. On such a hot day, with high winds and loads of fuel to feed the great rolling fireball that it became, people had no idea that most homes were undefendable.

    There seems to be a change of heart since on 'defending homes', as failure to succeed comes at such a high price.

  8. Nicely put Bliss. The more I learn, the more I worry. Like how do you evacuate the Dandenongs? There are so many people now and the roads don't have the capacity for them all to leave at 10.00am if the area is under high threat. This Royal Commission is very important.