Thursday, March 17, 2011

Friday March 17, 2011 A Small Stone/ Letter from Japan

A Small Stone
Words sculpted black ink
On endless white page
Perfectly spelled
Perfectly placed
My eyes caress you
In order to find my error
You are the visible
proof of your perfection

Letter from Japan

Yes, rolling blackouts. Today I drove to my school with no street signals, as I hadn't realized what time it would be blacked out, and had no time to walk. I'm teaching tons of business people getting ready to move abroad, all at my school. University is on break, thank goodness!!! The boys have school but got out early today because of (don't get too alarmed) the threat of radiation from the explosion at the nuclear power plant. We were all instructed to cover up when going outdoors. Food is disappearing from the shelves, and the gov. put out a statement today imploring people to stop "panic shopping" and save supplies for people who really need them. I haven't been able to find milk so went to Fressay as soon as it opened (late, it was closed for blackout), and they did have milk but there were lines halfway to the back of the store and people were loaded up with a couple baskets each. I momentarily considered walking with a carton of milk, and the honest scout in me quickly thought that of course I would have to leave the cash for the store, I couldn't possibly steal. I had a class and I couldn't wait. The line was probably an hour? More? I went to school to teach my classes. I had told a couple of students that I hadn't been able to buy rice, and that my rice bin at home was empty. One guy told me he just happened to have some rice in his car from his grandmother. Her family has a rice field. Wow. He gave me a huge bag of rice and told me that at times like these we have to help each other. Today another student, the wife of one of the company workers, came for her lesson and brought me a small bag of rice. We had a lesson yesterday and she knew about my fruitless shopping expedition, so she brought me some rice today. I almost told her I had gotten some rice, but she was clearly so happy to be helping me, she was thrilled when I told her how grateful I was, genuinely happy that she had made me happy. It's impossible not to be moved to tears. Driving to work with no signals, everyone was so gracious and polite, bowing behind their steering wheels and offering me the right of way...


Myrna R. said...

This is so beautiful Annell. It's nice to reflect on the sweetness within these stormy days.

Helen said...

Thank you for sharing with us ........

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Love your stone today, Annell. And a letter from someone on the ground in Japan is wonderful, thank you for sharing. I am so impressed by how humans carry on so heroically in the midst of utter devastation. The story of the rice is lovely. On the news yesterday was a sixteen year old boy from Vancouver Island who had just returned - he had been there on a student exchange. He said "everyone is just trying to survive, doing their best. It's fantastic." I loved that story!

Late Blooming Bohemian said...

Thankyou for sharing this. The tragedy that has happened in Japan is so immense. I know many many people hold heartfelt wishes for strength for the Japanese in Australia, and across the world. Our cousin country New Zealand and own country are still dealing with the massive damage caused by cyclone, extensive floods and earthquake.
Tough times and loss do bring out something amazing in people and communities. Sometimes all we have is little and each other...sharing is a gift for the giver as well as the receiver.

Marilyn said...

Wonderful to read of the generosity and beauty of people in the midst of destruction and horror. With the earthquake in Christchurch I was heartened by all the help that came so very quickly - Japan, Australia and so many more; as well as NZer helping NZer. The goodness shows through.