Beautiful People

Don’t you feel weary sometimes? With everything that goes on in the world.

It’s not a disinterested kind of weariness, more of a sorrowful kind.

The floods in Queensland, the cyclone, the troubles in the Middle East and the earthquake, tsunami, in Japan. Tacked on to any personal issues a person might have, the whole thing can seem overwhelming.

I have been deeply upset by everything that has happened in Japan. I don’t know if I have ever told you but I have a deep affinity with Japan and for the Japanese people.

It all started with an exchange student from Tokyo when I was in Year 10 at school. Keiko taught us all about Japanese culture and history – the samurai, the geisha, origami, the exquisite calligraphy. She was an enchanting speaker and was the type of person who never invited any drama or negativity. I always felt extremely relaxed and serene in her presence. I have kept in touch with her ever since.

When my band toured Tokyo in the ‘80s. They thought they were getting an all-boy band from Australia along the lines of Take That. Imagine their surprise when they got an all girl band who played heavy rock almost veering on punk. But the Japanese are always cool about things. Even though we weren’t what they expected they were incredibly gracious to us and we had the best time. Den, one of the club owners took us everywhere. He was so kind to us. So welcoming. We really were a crap band but he treated us like we had the Number One album on the Billboard charts or had won several Grammys. I won’t ever forget him.

I fell in love with Japan then. It is one of the few places in the world I think I could live quite happily besides Australia. It is just tragic what has happened. I really can’t get my head around it.

So many sad stories. I’m sure you’ve read them all. And Keiko’s husband’s grandmother. I can hardly bear to write it – she was swept away by the tsunami. At 84 years old. I didn’t know her but the thought of what happened to her, what happened to so many people wrenches and tugs at my heart.

And now the potential of nuclear meltdown. It just makes me want to hide under my bed like I used to when I was a kid and imagined ghosts knocking at my windows.

It’s too much.

It has affected me so much I just haven’t been able to blog – to articulate what I really wanted to say.

But you have to keep going, you know?

Tonight they are observing a minute’s silence for Japan just before Earth Hour starts. During that minute I will be thinking of all the people in Japan and praying they have the strength to keep going.

And rebuild.

And be as beautiful as they always have been.

Anata, watashi no yūjin heiwa e.

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17 thoughts on “Beautiful People

  1. I love your tender heart, Selma.

    Our world has been experiencing some very difficult times: catastrophic natural disasters, and those catastrophies brought on by ignorance and ego (wars and unrest, pollution…). I hope with all my heart that one day, soon, humanity will learn to treasure our beloved Home and all those who dwell within.

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  2. I have felt sick and depressed about Japan as well and I’ve never even been there, nor do I know any Japanese people. It makes it so much more personal when you have such ties. But the situation with their radioactivity could just as easily be any of us living near nukes around the world and if one good thing could come of this, it would be to shut down all nuclear power plants worldwide. Otherwise we may be looking at our children’s or children’s children’s futures.

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  3. Your post hit the mark, Selma. There’s a term for this: “Crisis Fatigue,” I believe it is. “Whosoever gazes upon the world must surely cry.” Those endless tears do leave one weary.

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  4. You are so right, Selma, it is hard to take life and blogging casually where then is so much hardship and heartache in the world, and among people that we know. Sometimes it does get the best of us for awhile. But I have endless faith in the renewal of hope and I know that life will once again spring forth from the desolation. As human beings, we pick up whatever pieces are left to us and we go on, that is all we can do, it’s all we know… and somehow it is enough. Hugs to you for having a heart that cares for others!

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  5. I know what you mean – I have been feeling very tired and depressed (and angry with all the idiots protesting against the carbon tax and the nuclear apologists saying we are all overeacting and that radiation is no big deal) and feeling like giving up and hiding in the hills, with all this craziness and was thinking that you must be feeling similarly – but another day and I’m feeling somewhat better – there must be hope (as you always point out) and surely humans will find a better way. So sorry about Keiko’s husband’s grandmother – that is just too awful. The Japanese are a beautiful, calm people who have my deepest respect for how they have handled things in the aftermath of the disasters.

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  6. Hi KAREN:
    Oh, me too. Me too. It is my most ardent and fervent prayer. The world is too beautiful to throw away. I’ll keep hoping and praying for as long as it takes!

    Hi SQUIRREL:
    I know. It is so depressing. Nuclear power seems like the answer if there is no possibility of a meltdown but when faced with something like this building reactors seems like the most stupid thing in the world. I hope we see the light, I really do.

    Hi JONAS:
    You are so right. I am very weary. I think we all are. It’s very hard to stand back and watch sometimes. However, it is very comforting to know there are so many people out there who feel the same way. I just want to give all of you a big juicy hug ♡

    Hi JOSIE:
    Your words comfort me more than you know. The renewal of hope is such a powerful force. Thank you for reminding me of it!

    Hi GABRIELLE:
    The Japanese are so cool. Did you see the way they queued for food in the shelters? So classy. I take my hat off to them every single time. I knew you would be feeling like this too. It’s hard not to. But hope springs back when you least expect it.

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  7. Yes. It all weighs so heavily, doesn’t it? The other day I sat imagining a huge bubble of love enveloping New Zealand, Japan… and then I felt the sadness that this poor world is just one thing after another and it’s everywhere. I had to expand my bubble to incorporate the whole planet and all her people and creatures; I just couldn’t pick and choose and try and think of it all and remember it all.

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  8. Hey Selma, thank you for these words. I’ve been carrying this around with me but didn’t know what to name it and you have … sorrowful weariness. How can we all not feel this?
    I enjoyed my visit here and reading about your touching connection to Japan, it helped so thank you. Take care,
    SusanMarie

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  9. Hi DAOINE:
    It’s almost impossible to pick and choose who needs our help and positive thoughts, isn’t it? There is so much trouble and sorrow in the world. It does make me appreciate what I have, however, which has to be a good thing. I will join you in forming the bubble of love. I like the idea of it.

    And it is horrible about Keiko’s husband’s grandmother. She must have been terrified. I pray she didn’t suffer.

    Hi GERALDINE:
    It is so sad. She would have had very little chance of fighting it at her age. I feel so bad about it.

    Hi SUSANMARIE:
    Oh, absolutely. We do all feel this, I think. This tragedy has shown me we are more connected than we realise. I am so glad I helped you in some way. That makes me feel good. Thank you for your kind words and for visiting.

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  10. Selma! I totally get what you are saying… It is so crazy how all these things are happening, it makes you wonder what is happening… I know exactly what you mean when you said you just don’t know how to articulate it all… If you were here I would hug you to pieces right now!

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  11. How horrible for your friends gramdmother. It gives you a sick feeling inside. It isn’t just faceless nameless people , it’s someone close to someone you know that makes the tragedy that much more personal. My heart goes out to them. They value their elderly there in a way that is almost unheard of anywhere else in the world. Somthing else we could certainly learn from.

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  12. Hi TBALL:
    I would hug you so much you wouldn’t be able to breathe. 😀
    One day I hope we get to have that hug. There is a lot of stuff going on in the world right now. It can be a bit bewildering. I agree, it’s so hard to know what to say.

    Hi CATHY:
    I know. I still can’t make sense of it. I feel really sad for the families who have gone through similar things. How do you come to terms with something like that? And the Japanese do value their elderly. They revere them. The whole thing is just awful.

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  13. I worry a lot about the way in which our leaders fail us time and time again. I wonder if the disasters we are seeing are a warning to us to save our planet before it’s too late.

    The nuclear thing – well all I can hope and pray is that it isn’t as bad as it could be and that all these scientists are being honest to us.

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  14. Hi ADEEYOYO:
    I wonder the same thing. If it is a warning I hope we heed it. I also hope the scientists and governmrent officials are being honest with us.

    Hi MELEAH:
    It is scary, isn’t it? I am just worn out. I can’t imagine how the people of Japan are feeling right now. They must be exhausted.

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