inspired by gaman and compassion

There was a draft post waiting when I came to my computer this morning, the post I was working on for today.

Before finishing up and hitting the publish button, I detoured for a quick visit to facebook, twitter, and my email.

Earthquake and tsunami and aftershocks in Japan.

Oh dear.  My planned post didn’t make much sense after that.

The images of swaying buildings, shattered glass, buckled roadways, burning refineries, and flooded communities are devastating.

We see the power of Mother Nature.

Likewise, the images of people comforting each other, helping with the rescue, and beginning already to clean-up and rebuild, are encouraging.

We see the strength of the Japanese people.

New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof wrote a wonderful piece this morning on the resilience of the Japanese people.

My heart aches for the suffering of those who have lost loved ones or lost their homes, for those who may not know yet what they have lost.

Yet, my heart aching does nothing to ease the suffering.  Fortunately, there are things we can do that will.

Karen Walrond over at Chookooloonks has collected information in one post about organisations providing aid and information.

Maureen Johnson (YA author) is coordinating donations to ShelterBox, an organisation that provides temporary shelter and emergency supplies in crisis situations.  Recently, ShelterBox was active in response to the earthquake in New Zealand.  Again, Maureen and many other authors are giving away ARCs and signed books to folks who donate through her tag.   Read her post to learn more.

Liz Lamoreux wrote about turning helplessness into compassion with such poetry that I felt held and understood –  and better able to move forward.

Others have reached out with compassion and hope on twitter.

Shauna James Ahern (@glutenfreegirl):  I’m having a hard time writing about anything about our lives today in the face of the suffering in Japan. I’m heartbroken and grateful.

Becky Selengut (@ChefReinvented):  Feeling shaky today – think it’s empathy aftershocks.

Celina Wyss (@shutterbugcel):  The world feels so very small today. Approach everyone you meet with love and compassion today.

Marianne Elliott (@zenpeacekeeper):  Today, can you make a little time for a walk? Or a bath? Or coffee with a friend? Or a dance in the kitchen? Invite in a little bit of joy.

This tweet wasn’t about the earthquake, but still added compassion to the mix.
John Green (@realjohngreen):  Maybe the best youtube video I have ever seen: Seriously. Watch this.

Elsewhere, Ruth Reichl – food writer extraordinaire – responded to a commenter who took her to task for writing about food on such a day.
I could not agree more with her wise words.


    • Aw. Thank you, Sister C. I did not know what ‘sakura’ meant until I looked it up. I wondered if it was a concept (like wabisabi), rather than a thing.

      These are apple blossoms from the ancient, twisty tree in our back yard. They are still a couple of months out, I think.

  • Thank you so much for that post and your words. I too woke up feeling very much the same way having my world come crashing down after logging on to Twitter first thing.

    • Celina, I felt the words in your tweet deeply. We can see pain and suffering anywhere we look – to greet it with compassion and tenderness is our highest offering. Thank you.

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