I want to acknowledge my shock and sadness about the devastation in Japan.  The reality of earthquakes is so much greater than my fears as a child.

Thoughts race through my mind.  They don’t fall into a cohesive essay. They weave themselves into the fabric of grief for all loss.

Do I watch the swirling waters carrying buildings and trucks through rice paddies so that I won’t have to think of the people?

I remember our young friend whose life was swept away on the Oregon coast in February and know that thousands of people were just as helpless on Friday, March 11.

The young woman whose tremulous smile shows the gratitude for her baby’s safety is a mirror of my heart giving thanks for those who survived.

Each person’s anguish is my own until I distance myself in order to catch my breath.

I believe for an instant that I have no control and move immediately back into denial.  I must  believe I can protect my family.

I am trying to comprehend that even in a country so advanced and so meticulous that its edifices and people are rooted in preparation can be as helpless as squatters in ramshackle buildings in Haiti?

Can I separate myself from any one of the people in Japan, or New Zealand, or Pakistan, or China and feel safe?

If I let down my guard I will wail in sorrow for the child warriors in Burma, the women of the Congo and the old woman in Sendai searching the bulletin boards for her husband.

When I allow myself to be vulnerable,  I am each of the mothers who have lost their children to drug wars in Mexico and gang wars in the U. S.

Every thought ends up in the same place and there is no safe place for my thoughts to live.

The sweep and grandeur of life and death is as inevitable as the Tsunami.

The magnitude of each individual sorrow is as shattering as this last earthquake.

I pray for some semblance of peace and restoration.


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