Thursday, March 24, 2011

I am Japan

On September 11, 2001 the world mourned with America and a great many declared they too were New Yorkers on that day. I feel very much like many of us are Japanese right now. So many of us, in the creative online community are feeling deep sorrow and empathetic longing to somehow lay a hand on Japan's gaping wounds in an effort to staunch the bleeding, offer comfort, or, if only, to just let them know we are there... with them... mourning, hoping, waiting, wishing, being Japanese.

There are so many folks searching for ways to reach out with whatever money, time, skill, or asset they have to give. It's a compulsion (a positive one, as in feeling compelled to help) for some, a need, and a methodically conscious act.

Here, a group of strangers are folding 1000 cranes and shooting photos of them to create a virtual origami crane chain in hopes of sending luck or sentiment to Japan. It's the need or desire to do something.

Here are photographers and artists who are trying to auction off pieces of their work via a flickr group with proceeds going to Japanese relief. It's a way to raise capital, to buy water, food and shelter perhaps, for the half million displaced and homeless Japanese.

Many established artists and photographers are selling or auctioning off work and/or services to raise capital.
On etsy, it's difficult to avoid running into a store that is not doing something along these lines.

It's all so beautiful to me, how we come together, like siblings protecting their own when one gets picked on.

What has also struck me as profoundly beautiful is the dignity with which many people in Japan have reacted to the trauma. At least in the early days after the quake there was no looting of stores and hoarding of supplies. Vending machines, stocked with food and drink, rendered useless by the lack of electricity were left intact - not cracked open like walnuts. Employers searched for employees. People banned together to fashion cook fires in pits with oil drums so what food there was to be found could be prepared. The rubble of homes used for fuel.

Dignity. Decorum. Generosity. Caring. Humility. Selflessness. We, as a culture (in the U.S.) could take a lesson, it seems to me. We have these things, to be sure. But I think not so universally, and not always when the chips are down.

My heart goes to Japan several times a day, as I'm sure your's does. As brothers, sisters, siblings on this planet, I wish them well.


The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Hello Rachel! I've been MIA for a bit but wanted to stop by your blog to see how you're doing. This post is amazingly intuitive and very "you." We all feel so helpless. Every time I turn on the news it seems Japan is suffering yet another travesty. And the Japanese are indeed so dignified in their suffering. No looting, everyone polite and taking their turn...yes, we could all learn vast lessons from them, their culture. Thank you so much for this, Rachel.

Mark Alexander said...

Feel better and have more energy with healthy natural algae.

Insurance Check said...

Great blog you have here!