Crooked Letters, Straight Lines - Jottings from the other side of the pond
Sendai City is located in the north-eastern part of Honshu, the main island of Japan. It was one of the hardest hit cities from the earthquake and tsunami.
In the video above, you can see Sendai Airport engulfed by the tsunami.
As of date, across 18 prefectures, approximately 27,000 people are dead or missing, and nearly 3,000 people are injured. Over 125,000 buildings are damaged or destroyed. There is extensive and severe damage to roads and railways and a dam collapse. There were fires in many areas as well. Moreover, there are 4.4 million households without electricity and 1.5 million without water. In spite of this, life continues and the area will slowly rebuild.
Below is a letter that I got from a friend. He told me that the writer is an English teacher in Sendai who decided to stay behind and help rebuild her local community.
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
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
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
THANK YOU AGAIN for your care and love,
Lighting a candle dispels the darkness, an act of love illuminates the soul.