A note from Northern Japan, April 6th

A note I wanted to share that I received April 6th Regards, Edgar +++++ Subject:  Land of the Rising Sun, day after and lessons From: NestorPalugod Enriquez <phix7@yahoo.com> To: edgar@fan-chicago.org, filipino-american_network@yahoogroups.com     An unknown but not lost message from Northern Japan.. Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more worthy of that name, 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 the news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put the out sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets. Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, "Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another." 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, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group. There are strange parallel universes happening, houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People are lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs.  All are happening at the same time.  Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night, no cars and no one out on the streets.  And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two stars, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains of Sendai are solid and with the crisp air, we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently. And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful.  I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entrance way. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation? yes, but fear or panic, no.    WWII brought us of the Kamikazi world, the word origin, as divine wind (kami is the word for "god", and kaze for "wind"). The word kamikaze originated as the name of hurricanes the late 13th century, which dispersed Mongolian invasion fleets. The modern meaning now reduced to non-fatal actions, which result in significant loss for the attacker or end of a career. It is not longer suicide. Was the building of the nuclear plant a Kamikazi approach? Japan showed the indomitable spirit of Japanese people and their suffering, and in-spite of the chaotic condition, there were no vandalism nor looting. Compare that to the Katrina aftermath, world of difference. Internet lessons that I learned from Japan-                        1. THE CALM -Not a single visual of chest-beating or wild grief. Sorrow itself has been elevated. 2. THE DIGNITY-Disciplined queues for water and groceries. Not a rough word or a crude gesture. 3. THE ABILITY The incredible architects, for instance. Buildings swayed but didn’t fall. Tsunami proved fatal, however. 4. THE GRACE -People bought only what they needed for the present, so everybody could get something.  5. THE ORDER -No looting in shops. No honking and no overtaking on the roads. Just understanding. 6. THE SACRIFICE -Fifty workers stayed back to pump sea water in the N-reactors. How will they ever be repaid? 7. THE TENDERNESS -Restaurants cut prices. An unguarded ATM is left alone. The strong cared for the weak. 8. THE TRAINING -The old and the children, everyone knew exactly what to do. And they did just that. 9. THE MEDIA-They showed magnificent restraint in the bulletins. No sensationalizing. Only calm reporting. 10. THE CONSCIENCE -When the power went off in a store, people put things back on the shelves and left quietly.      11. THE HUMILITY - I might add.. the victims bowing to each other and to the world , the picture and character of determined people.   Nestor Palugod Enriquez www.filipinohome.com Coming to America Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery. Today is a gift,and that's why we call it the present.