She Has Never Felt the Rain

Four years ago after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, I wrote this fiction story about a girl who had never felt the rain, living in a post-apocalyptic underground where people occupied themselves primarily in a virtual world.

Then this morning I read a true story about a child who, because of California’s drought, had never felt the rain. I was astounded. When I wrote the story, I had no idea that its poignant backstory of a child who had never felt the rain, would come true –so soon, in my life, and in the place that I call home.

Girl in the Rain

RainOnWindow

She Has Never Felt the Rain

by Bay Sweetwater

The old man beckons her to come forward, the small girl twirling her hair and holding onto her mother’s hand a dozen or so spaces behind him in the line. She points her tiny finger at her chest and mouths “me?” in disbelief.   Her eyes are wide; she chews her lower lip. He nods. The girl takes a quick breath and turns questioning eyes to her mother. “Go ahead, then,” the mother says. “You know Mr. Sanders. Maybe you’ll get your chance today.”

The pale redheaded four-year-old runs up to the old man, the way she runs no matter where she goes, too full of hope and eagerness to waste time walking.   She balls her fish against her mouth, standing on one leg, her other leg bent slightly with her foot nervously tapping the ground behind her, and gazes up at him.

The old man smiles and holds his ticket out to her, then bends down and whispers into her ear, “Tell me all about it tomorrow, huh?” She shakes her head up and down, too excited to speak. The man turns to me as I consult the roster for today. “She has never felt the rain,” he explains. I nod. He steps out of the line.

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Thank-you, Mr. Robot

My first mixed-media video debuted at the Linden Endowment of the Arts, Month of Machinima for June screening today. I’m so pleased to have my video selected for this screening, and so honored to tell the story of the brave robot who went inside the Fukushima nuclear reactor when human beings could not.

I dedicate this video to the real-life Heroes of Fukushima, the men and women who still struggle and risk their lives to contain this nuclear disaster.

The story is told by the poignant music of Loveshadow, We’re Gonna Need a Miracle.

THEY Say, a poem

"Kobian"-photo courtesy Waseda University, Tokyo

THEY Say

by Bay Sweetwater

See that guitar player there? They say he’s just a dreamer.
And that girl having visions? Just too out of touch.
See that guy who turns his cheek? Just a troublemaker.
And that old guy with frizzy hair? He won’t amount to much.

O Robot, dry your tears, don’t listen to what THEY say.
No one at this party’s seeing clearly; it’s all a swirl
Of smoke and mirrors; no one sees into your soul;
They only see your steel and wires, though you might just save the world.


Inside Fukushima through the eyes of a robot

My new machinima goes inside Fukushima through the eyes of the robot who went into the reactor when human beings could not. My entry in Linden Endowment of the Arts June Month of Machinima event.