I enjoy thinking that I am a relatively down-to-earth, in touch person. Realistic. But it has been brought to my attention in the past weeks just how sheltered my reality is….most of the time.
The past weeks have brought a handful of wake up calls, and much tragedy, which has served to remind me just how lucky me and mine are when it comes to our day to day. We don’t have many mishaps, haven’t had much misfortune.
So many of you have poured out care, attention and concern in our direction as the jaw-dropping, unthinkable events have been unfolding in Japan. Even though our “place” in this beautiful country was a full 800 miles away from the epicenter of the heartbreak that exists on Japan’s northeast shores, it is as if you recognized that parts of us, part of me, will live under the Japanese flag forever.
Even though we have only friends of friends that have been directly in danger as the world shifted, heaved, and overturned humanity in Fukushima, the net of community inherent in Japanese culture includes us all the way across the world, and our days contain pregnant pauses as we send thoughts to our home away from home.
As if it were yesterday, and everyday, moments of time spent on Okinawa are very vivid for me. I know the faces of my neighbors as they would be learning of the events on the mainland. And of their diligent, deliberate, honorable and calm collections and actions as they prepared for the tsunami to hit our neighborhood. And, as I watch film of the destruction in prefectures north, I super-impose our life in Aza-Uza within, imagining our neighbors, our car, our market, and the children walking to school in their uniforms on our street running, crying, and comforting each other in the wake of disaster.
At once, there is nothing and someone that we can do to help this nation that could be any nation. I have posted some of my favorite photos of our time, our place in Japan here – we have literally thousands of images that I would share to paint a picture of this precious place and its people. With time.
Additionally, here are a few excellent links to organizations, artisans and others that are doing their good works to support as well.
Hearts + Hands: more than 80 independent artists raffle off their creations with proceeds going towards aid in Japan.
Bakesale for Japan: a simultaneous national bakesale hosted at some of our favorite bakeries, restaurants, and other businesses featuring baked goods made by some of the most talented professional and amateur bakers around. Frequent the location near you and support Peace Winds Japan