A friend of ours forwarded a letter written by Anne Thomas from Sendai, just after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Here is a clip of that letter, and this link to the entire letter which appears in Ode Magazine.
... 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. . . ""I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no ..." This is the line that wraps me in a kapa as strong as dawn itself. Change is inevitable and necessary, we are not static beings. Chaos is not usually the change we wish for, but sometimes it is the only way to get our attention. I considered the events of the week, and the signs of resilience returning to human nature, pared down to its essence. I listen for messages that affirm the positive direction of our evolving nature and turn the radio on just in time to catch the end of an interview with Daphne Rose Kingma.
From the Program Description on New Dimensions Media:
"This conversation helps us in recovering our sense of equanimity, spirit, and strength, when devastating events threaten to engulf us. . ."Kingma spoke of Ten Things You Can Do When Your Life Falls Apart. I took notes into my composition book, using my pencil and the high school note-hand Miss Powell taught us. I missed some of the ten, but this is what I have scribbled in that book.
1. Signature Strength(s).
- Not always something beautiful.
- It's something that gets us through life.
- Ask yourself: "What else do I do, now that I cannot do what I always been/done/thought? The example of a man who couldn't get a job, couldn't get a job; so we starts playing his guitar and eventually it's his love of the guitar that gets him through.
- "Come to the altar of your strength"
- "Almost a mystical process"
- We are honed and polished
- It's the way we become something different
- Persist in being the person that you are
- Pare down if you're going to get through
- Density create stress
- Take the full impact
- When you live with the truth there is a possibility to become whole because you embraced the losses
- Reach out for help
- Be with others (small efforts count!) smile at the people in line at the market
- Crisis moves out of isolation
The journey ... life, may or may not include catastrophic change, and deeply felt losses; if one lives long enough there are at least a few of these. The evolving human adult will need to use the o'o many times and will find the tool serves her or him in different ways. When moving a huge pohaku (boulder, stone) the long handled metal o'o will do the job, and you may need help to huli (move) it as well. When making puka (holes) for planting seed a smaller stick will do. When navigating rough water, an o'o fashioned as a paddle would keep your canoe from huli (over-turning).
Image Credits: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
The image above is that of placed called Oo, France. I thought ... hmmm, wisdom is found in many places, and words find themselves in many places, too. Beautiful!