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Japanese Earth Quake - ‘I See No Signs of Fear...I Can Feel My Heart Opening Very Wide’

Woman and Children - Sendai

This is an extract from the Sydney Morning Herald 1th March, 2011

Whilst it is not the usual topic of our blogs, we couldn't let the nature of this inspiring and uplifting story pass by anyone who may not have seen it. Feel the gratitute for our own lives, and read on...

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me alot. 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. 

If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their buckets.

There has been no looting.

People keep saying ‘Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another’.

Quakes come. Last night they struck every 15 minutes.

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.

There are strange parallel universes happening. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack each day, now to send this email, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. Old men go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. I see no signs of fear.

Somehow, 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 part of something that is happening that is much larger than myself.

In evacuation centres there are puppet shows for children. ‘It’s to ease their minds’ my friend explained to me. ‘That is very important’.

We comfort one another as best we can. We still say, ‘Gambarimashou’ (We must keep up our fighting spirit).

Anne Thomas has been teaching English in Sendai for a decade. These are extracts of a blog and emails sent to her American family. Visit



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