issue 7 2011
DEATH AND REBIRTH IN JAPAN
Like most of the world, I sat in stunned silence as I looked at images of destruction and death left in the wake of Japan's 9.0 earthquake and epic tsunami earlier this month. It was overwhelming. And yet, even as I asked how anyone could recover from something so thoroughly devastating, heal and rebuild their lives after losing their homes, their possessions and, for some, their friends and relatives, I wondered if anyone heard the global message of death and rebirth that was rising like a clarion call of hope out of the piles of rubble left in the wake of the disaster.
Dr. Anodea Judith, author of the amazing book, Awakening the Global Heart, captured that message in the blog she wrote March 16. I'm privileged to share her thoughts with you.
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"Disasters seem to be coming more frequently, like painful contractions in the birth process of humanity. (Hurricane Katrina, earthquakes in Haiti and New Zealand, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, floods in Pakistan, a volcanic eruption in Iceland, to name only a few.) As terrible and awful as they are, we must also remember they contain an awakening to a new order. As ordeals of initiation, their extreme losses reveal gifts that were previously obscured: the gifts of community helping each other, the appreciation for simple things like food, warmth, and water, the experience of hearing quiet and seeing the stars as this beautiful letter from Anne Thomas expresses. Anne lives in Sendai where she teaches English.
Hello My Lovely Family and Friends
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 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 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,
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, right 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.
Somehow, at this time, I realize from direct experience that there is indeed an
Enormous Cosmic evolutionary step 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 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,
With Love in return to you all,
"After the shock and pain, grief and loss, and the long hard clean up, there is something remarkable that I expect will come out of this. More than any other subculture on the planet, the Japanese are known for their quality, efficiency, elegance, and beauty in design. With whole towns and cities devastated, there is now an opportunity to design and build, from scratch, cities that are ecologically modern and even more beautiful than before, cities that really serve their communities. Who better than the Japanese to take on that task? I predict that their new cities will be models for the world.
"Destruction and creation are an inevitable pair. In the midst of the devastation, something new is being born. Evolutionary thinker, Barbara Marx Hubbard, noted that if a woman went into childbirth without any idea of what was happening to her, she would surely think she was dying. Another woman, Ariel Spillsbury, said she felt that the tsunami was the waters breaking of humanity’s birth.
"Birth is painful. Birth is messy. Every loss is a contraction in the birth process. We must breathe through it. We must hold each other’s hands. We must not fear. We must bear down and push hard for the future we want to create. We cannot do it alone. We don’t yet know what it will look like, but the process is happening whether we like it or not. It is the ordeal that will test us and turn us into planetary adults.
"We must remember that birth brings forth a miracle, something that has never before existed. We are not dying, we are going through the challenging initiation of being born."
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I leave you Anodea's words to ponder as we celebrate the Vernal Equinox and, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the return of the growing season. And, if you were blessed with a cloudless sky in the middle of this month, you could see an incredible Super Moon, as I did. We are so closely connected to Nature and yet we too often forget the lessons of the Medicine Wheel. All living things know their place in the great Wheel of Life, except humans.
I leave you with those thoughts to ponder.Will we choose a life path in harmony with the Earth? Will we respect the lives of those who walk with us? Will we learn the lessons Nature teaches us if we are wise enough to listen? Or will we continue our arrogant attempts to conquer Nature. It seems, just when we think we're victorious, Nature delivers a deadly reminder of our hubris. How many natural disasters does it take to change the course of humanity? How many wars? How much pain will we inflict upon each other before we create something new out of all the blood of birthing?
Please do what you can, no matter how small, to support the recovery work in Japan. Give to the Red Cross if you don't have another organization you can donate your time or money to. Thank you for your generosity and kindness.
HIDDEN IMAGEOf course, some of you saw other images. That's the miraculous thing that happens when you de-focus your eyes and see beyond first sight. You start seeing all kinds of things you never saw before when your brain was in control and your sight was on autopilot. Did you see the initials L and M? The head of a Triceratops? The more you look, the longer your list of things discovered!
(the Scottish Terrier's head)
April 28 - May 1, 2011
Creativity: Your Deep River Within
Sunday, April 10, 2011
1:30 -- 4:30 PM
Once again, I will be presenting my Creativity workshop, back by popular demand, sponsored by the Visual Arts Guild of Rutherford County, North Carolina. Come and join us for what promises to be a super afternoon, specially designed for all of you who think you are not creative ... or want to boost your creative abilities. Here's a brief overview of the workshop:
Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not the sole property of the "artistic" and "talented." Creativity is everyone's birthright --- a powerful force inside us that reveals itself in as many different ways as there are people on earth. This workshop is about recovering the confidence and courage needed to reclaim your own authenticity and express it in your unique way. We all have a creative soul, a deep river within us. This workshop will lead you to yours. Creativity is all about attitude, attention, and action imaginatively applied to every facet of our daily lives. Any moment we bring our full attention to an issue at hand and dare to step outside our comfort zones, we fan our creative fires. Learn how to unlock your creative cupboard and release the powers of originality and authenticity. Through hands-on exercises, you'll experience the fun of rediscovering the creative soul you already possess and, once reclaimed, how it can change your mind and your life. Dress casually, bring a journal or note pad, and come prepared to stretch your heart and mind in exciting new directions.You can register online at the VAG web site. Just click on this link: http://www.rcvag.com/?page_id=6
Until we meet in person, continue to soar high ... and touch the Earth gently.
I invite you to take a moment and enjoy earlier Stone Chat Newsletters at these links:www.kohlquest.com/stonechatone.html
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