I was a day late in hearing about the disaster in Japan; that’s what you get for shunning TV and newspaper headlines. Now I’m in shock. What do you say or do in the face of such a catastrophy? Nothing, really — but turn inward, be silent, feel helpless … and notice your compassionate heart open towards far-way strangers.
Looking out the window I imagine, for a quick moment, what it might be like if mud were to fill our little street, cars fly through the air, the house tip sideways and crack open, precious stuff disappear, and connections be disrupted to friends and neighbours. What would be left? What is there for you and me, when everything’s stripped away, when uncertainty descends, when our awareness is propelled towards the brink of unknowing?
It is indeed like that–
and I have never noticed
dew on grass.
image: REUTERS. Smoke rises in the distance behind destroyed houses in Kesennuma City in Miyagi Prefecture in northeastern Japan. text: poem by Kangyo in: Hoffmann, Y. (1998). (ed). Japanese death poems written by Zen monks and haiku poets on the verge of death. Tokyo/Vermont: Tuttle, p. 213.