Saturday, March 26, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sendai, Japan ... March 15, 2011
Hello My Lovely… 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 candle light, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.
The famous Matsushima bay near Sendai - one of Japan's most scenic spots. The tsunami most likely will have caused devastation to the villages along the bay, to the islands as well as the oyster farms in the area. Image by David Ooms via flickr.
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,
WHAT AN INCREDIBLE LESSON FOR ALL OF US ... IN ACCEPTANCE, PERSEVERANCE, SEFLESSNESS, AND COMPASSION FOR THE HUMAN CONDITION.
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
My first sight of Ireland came through the window of an inbound jet, where beneath me, billowing from the sea like a great green and gold duvet, stitched 'round by the sea’s white ruffle … lay a dream come to life.
Somewhere, in the theory of 'tribal memory' must lie a smidgen of truth, suggesting that along with our genetic predisposition toward hair colour, eyes, ears, etc. come our inexplicable likes, dislikes, traits, yearnings and gifts as well ... an interesting idea to ponder long on no doubt, but as yet unproven. However, my need to see Ireland (and I do not use the word 'need' loosely here as obsession might be more to the point) has been with me since childhood. Perhaps though, instead of through the willy-nilly sparking of genetic synapses', my yearnings for a hearth away from home stem from the tall tales of six wild Irish uncles and three, sometimes equally as wild aunts who embedded, in a fertile young imagination, the longing for a land yet unseen. And, along with the longing a heavy dose for the love of myth and storytelling were passed on as well to umpteen dozens of 'all ears' (sometimes literally) cousins and me. In the castings of my family's enduring spells grew a world imbued with a love of poetry and prose, music, song and dance, shot through with more than a passing glance toward melancholy, procrastination and the greatest gift of all ... an unquenchable, irreverent sense of humour. So faithfully were these traits passed on, that if I were asked to choose what part of Ireland I found most beautiful I know, without doubt, I'd have to choose her people, including those who grew rooted outside the motherland (seperated by heartache, desperation, adventure and happenstance) ... along with the yet unborn who were imprinted by osmosis to carry forth all that it means to be Irish.
Although I might mention in retrospect, notwithstanding the beauty of the Irish themselves, there is a place I discovered on a my first road trip away from my place in Ballydehob! It will be near impossible to give exact directions, depending upon the direction you’re heading out from, but if you happen to be driving from the south going north (or whichever direction that may be whilst driving on the wrong side of the road in a lather of utter confusion) through Connemara, past Clifden, past Letterfrack, and not too far past Kylemore Abbey, be sure to sweep your eyes wide to the right (either a bit before or after the junction of the R344) and you'll see what I came half way around the world to see … a small, grassy knoll where indolent, unshorn sheep graze amongst rugged rocks and spring lambs shelter by old stonewalls, shadowing in the light of flickering leaves and racing clouds … and where too, the lovely Maumturks grace the distance blue and serene.
The image I’ve posted above this ramble is not the best, but I keep it to remind me that somewhere, just beside the road that leads to Leenane, lies a ‘lost heart’ waiting not so patiently for its owner to come back and retrieve it.
Oh, and if you’ve never been to the badlands up top where the Coomhola River wends like a silver ribbon through the valley below … do go! Mind now, it’s not a shortcut from Killarney to Ballylickey as one might expect, nor a day-trip for the faint-hearted ... I can vouch for that ... but getting lost up there, if you're feeling especially adventurous, may well be worth every wild skip of a heartbeat and a white knuckle or two. And surely, if you tarry long enough, in the lull between gloamin' and nightfall, you're bound to hear the ghost of a rebel song, left behind by the martyrs who once hid in those hills, still lamenting to this day ... in the wind that sweeps between the rocks and down the deep corries.