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To Anyone in Japan

Updated on December 10, 2012

Tsunami

My usual address to writing follows moments, sometimes hours of simple or great reflection. I do not presume any distinction between the two, just that it is my way and gives needed direction in order for me to write. In this moment, in this hour with this heart, however, I write absent of any direction, knowing only, that I can do little else with feeling, that will not be put to rest.

Compassion isn't a thing we look for, it is a thing looking for us, searching for residence. It is the human compass looking for a helm. Today my compass steers me to Japan, where half a world away, anything less from me is insufficient to claiming citizenship in human kind . My imagination, as great as it serves the creative spirit, can not measure, the unfolding reality that comes to bear upon the people of Japan. Even in my writing I can not paint a picture adequate in conveying "the per square mile" immeasurable loss and suffering, uncovered in the very moment my finger meets the key. In the confinement of myself, I am imprisoned, restricted to what I hear and what the television brings upon the leisure of my home.

Whatever solace I find is in a knowledge that where I am, transcends any distance, any language, any past or future, any differences and any Gods or hindrances that would leave me unconnected from where they wake today. There are people, half a world away, now confronted by the worst that life can lay before them and though we have never met, I am engaged in a common grieving, an unfolding hope and a relentless prayer which begs from things invisible, whatever they need to meet the pain of another day. As I reflect upon the hours that will write their lives upon the pages of these unfolding moments, I am confronted with my smallness and the inadequacy of my life against so great a call. Compassion is all I have to give in the face of a suffering to large for me to grasp. But then, who am I to measure the value of compassion. It is better measured by those in need of it. It is all I have to give. When it arrives, I pray it find it's appointed home and that someone there, will feel as though we've met.

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    • arb profile image
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      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      To recognize it my friend, is to know it and to know, one must have it. Cogratulations and thank you.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      By your write I can assure others that you my friend are truly compassionate

    • arb profile image
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      arb 5 years ago from oregon

      Thank you Theresa. It is unfortunate that time diminishes our awareness to affliction around the world, but, if it were not so, our lives would dwell in perpetual sadness. Perhaps, it is best to make such prayer our daily life and give God leave to do what only He can do. All good and every right is birthed in the heart that cares. I believe that reveals the true condition of our heart and the condition of our heart is what ultimately matters to God. Apathy, will in the end, make the invisible, visible.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good evening Alan. It is late and I still have papers to grade, but I was hungry, perhaps longing is a better word, to read something good, really good, something that would touch me, move me. I have done a good bit of reading and writing lately, much of it a sort of obligatory busy-work, much of it school related, but it hasn't touched my soul. My life is fine, but there is a dusty dryness in my soul...or so it feels.

      I decided to read one of your hubs and then go dutifully grade the papers the students will be waiting for tomorrow. I read a poem, but it was light and funny and I wanted something other...wandering through your hubs, I found this one from 15 months ago.

      I am crying now, but after many years of resisting tears I welcome them now because I know they come unbidden when I experience the unmitigated truth, or great beauty, or deep compassion, or the Holy Spirit, and those are moments to embrace and draw near to, not run away from. So I will choose to draw near tears and all, as I should.

      You have penned a powerful, intense, moving, but stark prayer. I know you are praying for them in their hour of need and describing our common humanity and expressing the parameters of compassion, but still, all the words you wrote were a prayer, are a prayer. And as I read them over several times they became my prayer. And I think the distance in time is not important, there is still a connection, a need for compassion, a need for me to pray and express compassion.

      "Compassion isn't a thing we look for, it is a thing looking for us, searching for residence. It is the human compass looking for a helm." I will write this down someplace where it will not get lost so I can read it again when I need to.

      "Whatever solace I find is in a knowledge that where I am, transcends any distance, any language, any past or future, any differences and any Gods or hindrances that would leave me unconnected from where they wake today." What a gift God has given us to comprehend that the emotions, the concerns of our hearts, our souls do transcend distance, that we are all connected.

      In many ways, on many fronts and for many people we are engaged, we must be engaged, in a common grieving and a common hope...our spirit nature calls us to compassion and hope, and our human nature needs to experience and express both.

      Thank you. Theresa

    • arb profile image
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      arb 6 years ago from oregon

      And yours my friend!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      God bless your heart arb!

    • arb profile image
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      arb 6 years ago from oregon

      Edlira, Perhaps a colective heart around the world, praying together, will have consequences. The only reason such things happen is the same reason it rains and it shines sun. Catastrophies belong to the realm of natural laws and we do not control them, despite our effort to do so. Be well, and thank you for your wonderful comments.

    • Edlira profile image

      Edlira 6 years ago

      Dear arb, I feel the same way. I do believe in a superior intelligence (nothing institutional related)but in times like this, faced with so much pain and destruction, I feel so lost and challenged in my belief. I can't help but ask, if as they say everything happens for a reason, what horrible reason does all that is happening in Japan had to happen for? I know it doesn't hel asking why, for the simple fact that even if I got an answer that wouldn't undo all the pain, loss and desperation that noble people is going through. I feel so small and insignificant....

      May God be with them...somehow....

    • arb profile image
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      arb 6 years ago from oregon

      Jellybird! Thank you for reading and the comment. The pleasure is mine.

    • Jellybird profile image

      Jellybird 6 years ago

      I am glad I got to meet you

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      arb, the optimal word now should be pray - it is a beautiful piece you wrote - stay safe my friend.

    • arb profile image
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      arb 6 years ago from oregon

      Hi Alastar, thank you my friend, just had to say something. Saying nothing seemed uncaring, although I know that isn't true. What do we say?

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      arb, your humanity transcends your wonderful words.Bless you.

    • arb profile image
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      arb 6 years ago from oregon

      Hi No_Clue! Thank you for such a kind comment. Our prayers are sometimes all He allows. They are enough for Him.

    • No_Clue profile image

      No_Clue 6 years ago

      Most beautiful message that many of us concur with! My prayers and thoughts are with them constantly during this dark hour.