3.26.2011

SOS Japan

It took me almost a week to actually look at news footage from Japan. My husband fed me updates as I meagerly tried to keep moving, in a straight line, through the mundane tasks of emptying the dishwasher, bathing a toddler and filling up a shopping cart. I kept at it, one foot in front of the other, over and over again, all the while thinking that these things we do with such regularity and most times ambivalence, are so quickly taken away.

As the coverage withered a bit and other world news wiggled its way to the headlines, I did my own browsing, watching in utter disbelief as mass amounts of water suffocated a city. The stream of tears and sorrow and fear and helplessness came over the next day and then it wouldn't let go.

I have been to Japan, I have friends in Japan, we live in California, we are citizens of this world - none of these characteristics make my sorrow any more special. In fact, I would say that my sorrow is far from special. In fact, it shouldn't even be attended too, for my sorrow comes at such a distance - a distance from the devastation, the loss, the death, the brokenness, the continued uncertainty of what is still to come. But mostly, my sorrow is saturated with helplessness - that gut wrenching feeling of not knowing what to do or who to help.

I retreated into the world of the blogs I like the most and found one fundraiser after another. I commend their efforts and everyone has to find their path out of the stifling feeling of helplessness, but more me, buying a poster or a t-shirt was not it.

Instead, I found a project, created by my writing friend, Wakako, the creative force behind baum-kuchen. She has gathered and translated SOS messages and comments coming from Japan, that were posted in various places around the web.

It is hard to read because it makes it personal. But that is exactly what I needed.

Please visit SOS Japan

2 comments:

Monkey & the Whale said...

Lovely post Alex, very uplifting. My sister in law is over there for a year, but is safe and far from the disaster thankfully.

wakako said...

hi alex,
thank you so much for writing about SOS Japan. I am thankful for your support... and praying that people who have left these messages are now in the safe place...
-wakako