Post Disaster Memory

Many of Kazuo Ishiguro’s memories revolve around his past role in society and the respect he received as an artist.  For example this memory: “Of course, this is all a matter of many years ago now and I cannot vouch that those were my exact words that morning. But I spoke in some such way on the Tortoise’s behalf, of that I am quite certain; for I can distinctly recall the gratitude and relief on the Tortoise’s face as he turned to me, and the astonished stares of all the other present. I myself commanded considerable respect amongst my colleagues – my own output being unchallengeable in terms either of quality or quantity -and I believe my intervention put an end to the Tortoise’s ordeal at least for the rest of that morning.” (69).  Like many of his other memories from before the war, Ishiguro remembers how people treated him in regards to his profession. These two characteristics are no longer evident in his current life, which leads him to wander into the past often.


I chose this image to represent how some people remember, act, and respond in the wake of disaster. June 5, 2014 devastated the SPU community.  Living in Ashton during the time, I remember the thick discomfort that lined the halls as we checked on roommates, friends, and floor mates to make sure everyone was accounted for.  I remember the horror when we found out that one who was missing would not be coming home.  Suddenly our campus and dorm became a memorial. Over night chalk art covered the sidewalks, flowers piled up on a street corner, and mourning souls found themselves gathered in Tiffany Loop praying.  We all respond in different ways when disaster hits too close to home.  Ashton, like the rest of campus, responded by joining in community. If you lived in Ashton during this time, chances are this image holds a lot of memory.  Memory of hurt; memory of friendship; memory of love; memory of tears; memory of fear, but this is how we, as a community chose to remember.  As some would call a miracle, we gathered an entire building of college students in the midst of finals, emotional strain, and tremendous grief for one picture.  Some were Paul’s closest friends, others only knew him from passing in the hall, but we all shouldered each other’s grief and in the wake of devastation, Ashton felt more like home than it ever had.

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