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BREAKING / 11 March 2011

Breaking. The word has become familiar to me. I see it every day; I don’t always notice it, but have a subconscious awareness that it is there. It has acquired an association the brownish-orange colour and the marching line of alphabetic ants that accompany it somewhere between the menu-bar and the headline article on the BBC News website that is my homepage.

Breaking; the significance of the word has never attacked me before. Breaking News: it is good to know what’s going on in the world and so instantly. Except that this news is personal. This breaking is the earthquake in Japan and the tsunami warning. It affects Tokyo where I have a loved one.

SP lives and works in the Japanese capital, he has been there four years and is familiar with life there. The implications of breaking hit hard; the horrendous possibilities of breaking tear into me, sending my mind into turmoil.

The email that pings in from Tokyo reassures me that he is safe. His workplace is shaken, but not broken. The workforce has been sent home, transport is not working but SP lives close enough to work to make this possible. His home appears safe. I would speak to him but reception around the work building is poor and he keeps breaking up.