My neighbour, Marilyn Fife, has spent many years living in Japan, studying and teaching. She married Pepe from Ecuador who was running a business there. Both are now teaching here in Colorado Springs. Pepe flew back to Japan 23 March to assist in recovery efforts there. This letter is from Etsuko, a Japanese friend of theirs.
"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 one has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets. Utterly amazing, 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 in our homes for a few hours last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came. 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 of night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I can usually see only two but now the whole sky is filled.
The mountains near Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhoueted against the sky magnificently. And the people themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day. Now to send this e-mail as 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 occuring all over the world 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 all this is happening. I do not. Rather I feel as if I am 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.