March 21st, 2011
Television, e-mail, Internet, iPhone and a variety of social media have radically brought Japan’s disaster trifecta — earthquake, tsunami and nuclear fall-out — centerstage and ‘round the clock.
The volley of immediacy and impact, hope and horror, frustration and helplessness is unprecedented.
The drama and the horror unfold like a bad dream, with intermittent glimmers of joy, like the miraculous recovery of an obasan more than a week after the disaster. Momentarily, the mounting death toll is blurred.
Then comes an uplifting reflection of the saga, via a shared e-mail from Anne of Sendai, who has been teaching English in Japan for the past decade. Her wisdom and her reflection capture the fiber of temperament and courage of the Japanese nation. She poignantly projects the nation’s resolve to recover, rebuild and restore, despite the ongoing wounds. Appreciative of every little bit of aloha, she forfeits her right to be outraged, disillusioned and pessimistic; she sees beauty and comfort in nature, despite the disarrayed and damaged villages and farms; where fear would logically thrive, she sees hope.
I received a copy of Anne’s e-mail third-hand from Carla Kawakami, a Honolulu friend, who in turn got it via a colleague. In sharing, we all feel that the absence of an expression of pain by Anne is a remarkable testament to her savvy to cope, comprehend and enlighten others not only in ravaged Japan but in sectors of the world desperately trying to kokua.
Arigato, Anne, for your wisdom. May others learn from you.
Hello My Love Family and Friends,
First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me. I am very touched. I also wish to apologize for a generic message to you all. But it seems the best way at the moment to get my message to you.
Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend's home. We share supplies like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.
During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.
Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, "Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another."
Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often. We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not.
No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.
There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.
Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains are Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.
And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they
need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.
They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend's husband came in from the
country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.
Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I felt so small because of all that is happening. I don't. Rather, I feel as part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of
birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.
Thank you again for your care and Love of me,
With Love in return, to you all,