Beauty in the Ordinary

This is not about being brilliant, or extraordinary, it's not about wanting to be famous, or making headlines, or trying to impress...this about sharing a 'gift' each day with the lift the spirit of people when they read this blog, to show them the beauty in the ordinary.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." Raold Dahl

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Letter From Sendai

A letter from Sendai.
Posted in Ode Magazine by
Anne Thomas, who currently lives in Sendai, Japan

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.

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 of 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,

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 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.


image by Vernelle Noel



  1. Strange what it takes for mankind to have such wonderful community spirit....

  2. That gave me shivers reading that. I read that even though thirsty, even vending machines have not been broken in to. I remember being horrifyed after katrina with all the looting. One thing to loot water, food or medicine, but looting houses and shops was awful.

    A beautiful thing about human nature is that when it is good, it is so good, the spirit is resilient and capable.

    Thank you V for sharing this with us today.

  3. This tender letter touched my heart so deeply that, you know Cro, I'm not waiting for an earthquake, tusnami, fire, flood, war...whatever to change... what has happened in Japan effects us all, and like Chania I too felt shivers reading this, because I felt the ripples that are being sent out from what was being experienced in the devastation all around this person, were not ripples of rage, sadness or fear, they are the ripples of love for wanting to be kind to everyone, to help others instead of just taking care of the self. I don't know why this effects me on the level it does right now, we have had numerous tragedies in the past.
    Perhaps it is the gift of the Japanese people to the world.
    Compassion and love.
    I see the world with different eyes today.

  4. I have always believed in the goodness of people and you see this all the time in the most dire of times and circumstances.

  5. It's extraordinary when individuals can rise above adversity and continue to be grateful for life and all of its offerings. That is truly a spiritual existence. Thanks for sharing! Best wishes and blessings, Tammy

  6. This was so wonderful to read, it is so different from reading papers and looking at pics,this is what the real feeling is and the real experience,as we count our blessings and change our ways,I agree we need to learn from this and change what we need to,pray for all those darling people and give thanks for the opportuntity to step outside our square and become better people..The Times they are a Changin...

  7. That little piece was inspirational - thank you so much for sharing it with us V.

  8. This is such a beautiful and touching letter...thanks for sharing xo

  9. So beautiful and so sad, all at the same time. I'm happy to have read that after watching much devastation on the news. Thanks for sharing. xo

  10. Beautiful,beautiful, beautiful V. At last I can shed some happy tears. I know things are still dire, but these wonderful people are a shining example to us all.

  11. This is an important & meaningful post for me to read Victoria - thank you.
    Millie x

  12. Beautiful post, V. So different from our part of the world, where looting and shooting might be the order of the day in such circumstances.

    "Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another."

    The ways of true community are not lost.

    I see no signs of fear.
    Resignation yes,
    but fear or panic,no.

    That's beautiful!


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