Random is the best I can do.

I keep a list of the books I read each year, and a few years ago also started keeping a list of the ones I started and gave up on. For the first time ever, my list of "Did Not Finish" is currently longer (10) than the ones I actually finished (9). As might be true of any such list, the DNF is more reflective of my mood when reading than it is of the quality of the books. Right now, while doing taxes and consequently brain-dead after 8 pm, I find that it is the rare book that I can actually read and comprehend. I have finished only one book, a thriller, since I started work on February 7. Apparently a job is the enemy of literacy — in my case, anyway.

* * * * *

A friend emailed this to me, and it touched my heart. Googling revealed that it was first published here.

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.

It's utterly amazingly that 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 are 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 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,
Anne

* * * * *

You may have read / seen / heard about the gas main explosion in Minneapolis on Thursday. I missed it entirely, having been back in Wisconsin for meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. If I been in Minneapolis I would most certainly have known about it; the site is about 1.5 miles from our house.

Caution: this video was made, apparently, by a young man with a limited vocabulary; his commentary is definitely NSFW. But it is the best video I found on YouTube. After the young man's initial comment, he spliced in some audio from a local radio station, which includes an announcer who doesn't know how to pronounce Nicollet (NICK-o-let, not Nick-o-LET).

If you don't want to watch the video, here are some choice screen shots of cars that were parked close to the site.

Screen-capture-2

Screen-capture-3

The melted stuff reminds me of that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when they open the Ark of the Covenant and the Nazis' faces melt.

To orient you, here is Google's shot of the area looking north toward downtown. The orange star marks the approximate site of the blast, the orange arrow points to the tree that is no more, and Cub Foods, a large supermarket, is outlined in red. Our house is somewhere off to the upper left. I think the man who took the video was standing on Nicollet Avenue, initially up between 58th and 59th Streets, and later, after the fire was out, near 60th.

 Screen-capture-4

The freeway at the right , I-35W, is one of the busiest in the country, and the explosion occurred near the end of the morning rush hour. It is amazing, considering the neighborhood, that no one was injured.

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0 Responses to Random is the best I can do.

  1. Kym says:

    Wow. That’s some kind of random you’ve got going there. (Working has done a number on my literacy, too.)

  2. Vicki says:

    I saw video of that the other day and was just amazed. I haven’t the first clue as to how something like that is contained and put out. I guess that’s why I’m a knitter and not a firefighter.
    ; )

  3. Chris says:

    I muted the video. 🙂 CRAZY, huh?! If it had been under 35W… O.o

  4. Erika says:

    Take heart! If you have “only” read one book this year, then you are in the top 20th percentile of Americans!

  5. Jeff says:

    I heard that same mispronunciation of Nicollet and told Nancy that no one who’s lived in the Cities for any length of time gives it the French treatment. Don’t they give these newbies a guide to local place names?

  6. soxanne says:

    As far as the literacy issue, I was at my lowest literacy rate when I was in graduate school – Janet Evonovich was all I could handle for a while. Work does get in the way of life, doesn’t it?
    The letter from “Anne” is lovely. So glad you found it and shared. It’s so hard to imagine what life would be like there for survivors; now we have a picture of people at their best in a worst case scenario.
    And the gas main, well, what can you say? (maybe more than the young man with the video, but still).

  7. k says:

    OMFG Klier’s nursery is still there!
    I hadn’t heard about it, but I don’t let a lot of news into my cave.

  8. cursingmama says:

    I’m amazed by the gas main explosion (and the shocking frequency of them recently)and just how close we came to a major & massive disaster with no warning. I’m thankful melted cars & missing landscape were the biggest losses.

  9. Lucia says:

    It is amazing how people help each other in times of crisis. I wish it could be more like that when life is normal.

  10. Carrie#K says:

    Oh wow, that is one scary looking car. Our gas explosion took out a neighborhood. Does no gas & electric company maintain their pipes? Scary.
    Swamped here too – and still at work – but I did still manage to read The Hunger Games last weekend. It’s funny what I can and can’t read right now.

  11. Carleen says:

    The entry you posted from Sendai is indeed touching. And, I can relate to a “back to the basics” gratitude. That has, indeed, been my life since the United Way of Polk County office closed. I have seen such generosity of people in so many ways. And, have been so grateful for the basics: electricity, running water, heat, a roof over my head, a plowed driveway, food for me and my felines, gasoline in my vehicle, and the entertainment of items from our local library. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece.

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