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Corona Thoughts: When People Return to the Sea

Enjoying the night flower moon at Hyakuna Beach in Okinawa.
The moonlight shimmering over the ocean water is beautiful.

With lockdown and mandatory stay at home rules extended, there’s no choice but to be dragged into a cyber society. With everything on television, internet, and SNS, there’s no physicality.
The content doesn’t exist, unless you look. At the other end of the spectrum is your body, the nature of this planet.
I left the city in the early stages of the COVID-19 lockdown, to the nature of Okinawa, where there is no one and I can live at one with nature. Maybe I did this because I wanted to maintain my physicality.

In the morning, you can hear the birds singing as they fly by and a surround sound of the ocean waves. At night, you can see the fireflies lighting up the sky and you can hear the chorus of the wind with the frogs and bugs playfully joining the choir.
I can feel the sand in between my toes and talk with the fishes in the sea. Nanjo is a city with a lot of fog, but it always clears after. I’m living in an area with mysterious scenery changes.

This planet is made up of 71% ocean. We have to live on the narrow 29% of the land that’s left. As I become accustomed to living near the ocean, I start to feel a nostalgia that maybe humans were fish in the past.

I remembered Japanese author, Kobou Abe’s, 1959 SF novel, “Inter Ice Age 4,” and wanted to give it another read.

He talked about his concept before serialization (rough translation).

“When technology advances towards humans, rather than nature, the biggest change is, of course, delusions, but humans may return to life underwater.

When humans are still a fetus, they have gills, right? Artificially, we have the potential to live underwater. There is no difference in temperature.  The resources are endless. Life could be more reasonable in the sea. The earth continues to get warmer in climate, the arctic ice is melting, and to say that only the top of the mountain will remain is an understatement. It’s possible to create a satellite and go somewhere, but is it also possible to process humans to be able to live underwater. If this happens, then our feelings will change, too. I don’t know if we can call them the same humans but…”