Life in Sendai: 仙台からの便り

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[ The images above are beautiful Sendai before the quake. ]

Ness is our good friend and adviser for the ‘Ganbare! Kamataki’ project. She forwarded the following message from her friend in Japan today. Anne lives in the largest city in Tohoku, the area shaken by the earthquake. She is not a potter but her message tells us a true picture about her life after the unimaginable erthquake disaster in Japanese history. (G.K.)

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 now 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 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 filled. The mountains at 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 realise 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.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,
With Love in return, to you all,

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5 Responses to Life in Sendai: 仙台からの便り

  1. Armelle says:

    I am very touched by your words Anne. I wanted to tell you, that I am french, I met Gas Kimishima, two years ago, on a wood-firing week-end in UK, and I love japanese art and pottery.
    In France, there is a town, twin with Sendaï : Rennes, since 1967. Today, the twinning committee Rennes-Sendai organizes aid from all France, donations and expressions of support for Sendai :
    Je vous souhaite beaucoup de courage ainsi qu’à tous vos proches à Sendaï

  2. Dominique says:

    I came to your blog leaded by Armelle on “Coucou du Japon”. I discovered the work of Gas Kimishima on her blog. The “Japanese artists, (it’s almost a tautology)! Are living in creative spirit and harmony everyday, it’s a legacy of the past by a culture making of​Japan a world treasure.
    I will remember your link: Mashiko EARTHQUAKE APPEAL. The aid was directed primarily at the Red Cross here, and continues. Initiatives such as yours are more specific, and with time, when journalists will be silenced, it will always be there by the links of friendship. My personal action is centered on the foundation “Live for Life” of Minako Honda, and since nearly 3 years. I continue to support this foundation because it fights against leukemia, and this is the next challenge for people who are trying to control nuclear power plants.
    All the best to you! Dominique.( ) France.

    • Merci (ありがとう)Dominique,
      In Fukushima, Souma-yaki potters (of course, with all people of Namie town) had to evacuate from their town because the troubled nuclear plants were less than 20 km away. I fear that they may have to stay away from their home and workshops more than a couple of years.

      I still have difficulty to communicate with the potters in the North.

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