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Switch to Forum Live View Letters from Japan re earthquake
3 years ago  ::  Mar 15, 2011 - 11:11AM #1
world citizen
Posts: 5,457
[to the Japanese Baha'i communities]

Dear Friends,

Three days have passed  from the devastating natural disaster that struck the northern region of Japan,  from Kanto, Tohoku, to all the way to Hokkaido.  It is a humbling  experience to see and experience the powerlessness against nature, yet at the  same time, a reconfirming experience of the strength of the human soul, when one witnesses people bravely standing up to unite and help each other, and begin the  process of putting their lives back together.

Thankfully, as far as we  know at this point, although many have been affected by this calamity, all  Baha'i friends are safe.  We are also receiving heartwarming messages from  communities and friends all around the globe, offering their sincere prayers, and offering their assistance.

It is at times like this, when one  remembers the short prayer written by Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Aqdas.

"On the appearance of fearful natural events call ye to mind the might and  majesty of your Lord, He Who heareth and seeth all, and say Dominion is God's, the Lord of the seen and the unseen, the Lord of creation."  ~ The Kitab-i-Aqdas p 23

The days ahead will in no way be easy, and we can expect the troubles to continue.  We offer our sincere prayers for the safety of the friends.  May the Blessed Beauty guard and protect you  all.

We would like to ask the friends around the nation to continue to pray for those friends who have been affected by this disaster, and for the nation as a whole.

National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Japan
Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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3 years ago  ::  Mar 25, 2011 - 12:19PM #2
world citizen
Posts: 5,457

[This is shared by Anne, a pioneer to Sendai, Japan, where she has lived for the past decade teaching English.]

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 beautiful.

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 a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

It's utterly amazing that 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 near 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 is much larger than myself.  This wave of birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent. .... [personal]

Blessed is he who mingleth with all men in a spirit of utmost kindliness and love. ~Baha'u'llah
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