Friday, March 5, 2004

The power of place

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez writes:

"We will not leave," she said. "we will stay here, because we have had a son here."

"We have still not had a death," he said. "A person does not belong to a place until there is someone dead under the ground."

Xeni Jardin writes:

When I stepped on board flight 889 from LAX to Guatemala this time, I knew it would be different, but I didn't know how. Almost midnight. Most passengers were guatemaltecos weighed down with bags full of things from America to bring home to families. We waited, passengers filed on with bursting suitcases. Flight attendants wheeled on a brown-skinned woman in a wheelchair whose body was limp, eyes dim and half-closed. They pushed her into place, strapped her down, we waited again. I dozed off, and woke up minutes later as attendants rushed back to her seat with oxygen and first aid kits. They called for paramedics. They called for doctors. No one could feel her pulse. The paramedics arrived, huddled for a while, then confirmed she was gone. One of the female flight attendants started crying. The woman in the wheelchair had terminal cancer, she said. "It's always like this on 889. They always want to return home to die."

And Elena writes:

In theory radiation will stay in Chernobil area for the next 48.000 years, but in reality first people must start to populate those area already in some 900 years. This is when the most dangerous elements will dissapear. their half-value period is from 300-900 years. I suppose there will be someway discovered to neutralise or clean up the radiation in the next 100 years. Well, if our government will finance our science as they do it now, then we won't be able to rid of this and will have to wait this 900 years untill radiation will evaporate by itself. Actually, some people coming back to their homes and settle down, those mostly old people who do not care if they die today or tomorrow. important is to die at home.

(last link via Warren Ellis)

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