Dandelion Prayer

Today is day 22 of the Nannernuclearmeltdown. Susie has given us wonderful quotes and pics to use for our poems at Real Toads. I was happy to see the dandelion, my favorite flower. today on Earth Day, I have chosen the quote about the dandelion but I have used my own picture as I feel it gives us the true survival spirit of the flower as we need this so badly at this time in our lives.


Dandelion Prayer

“A fresh and vigorous weed, always renewed and renewing, it will cut
its wondrous way through rubbish and rubble.” William Jay Smith

Bloom where your seeds fly –
Lion’s tooth bite away the pain
The sorrow –
Dandelion give us joy
Especially help us to rise above the challenges
Give us lasting joy
Help us to use our intellingence
to build Instead of destroy,
to heal each other
to heal the earth
to heal us of our emotional pain
to shine for us with the warmth of the sun
to lead us into tomorrow
and to make us smile with your bright
and cheery mein
and to give as freely as you.

public domain

The Walk: Part Vl – Tsunami: One year Anniversary, 2012.

In 2011, I became friends with a Japanese engineer who was transferred by his company in Fukushima to one of their branches in the USA. I was in charge of reviewing and approving applications for licensure made by foreign engineers, specifically Japan and Canada. There were items needed to complete his application and he had been notified of the deficiencies. A back and forth of emails and phone calls ensued. One day, he just showed up at the office and was sent to me. A handsome and proud man, he asked me to see the man in charge. I told him I was the “man” in charge of his application and licensure. I removed us to a private conferring room and went over his files with him. He said he could never get the information needed. “Don’t you understand? Do you have any idea what a tsunami is and how this was total devastation?” I was dealing with frustration and deep grief. Eventually, we found a way for him to obtain the required information.

The day after I called him to let him know that finally, the process was complete and he had been approved for licensure. On Friday, he came to the office again requesting to see me. Because I had worked so hard and helped him so much (at one point serving him green tea and homemade udon during a long session. I had brought my lunch from home that day and shared it with him) he wanted to take me to lunch. When I told him that was not allowed, he asked if I would take a walk instead. It was peak cherry blossom season and in the office park were over 65 cherry trees. I knew exactly where I would take him. This began a long and deep friendship. Every Friday, if he was in town and I was in my office, we would walk and talk. We learned much about each other.

I wrote a series of poems about this friendship – The Walk – and there are various parts to it. This is one of those parts, posted in memory of those who lost their lives during the tsunami of 2011 and in honor of those who survived and rebuilt.

free public domain photo

free public domain photo

She looked at the calendar and sighed.
It was not Friday, the usual day of their walks.
It was the one year anniversary of the tsunami.
She knew he would be there
In their place under the cherry trees.

The cherry buds were barely beginning to show color.
A bit of pink, bit of white, bit of red.
Holding themselves tight
On this day.
No blooms today.

She walked to their place.
He was standing
Huddled in his coat
Looking diminished by his grief.

Tears coursed down his cheeks –
Rain running down a smooth brown rock,
A statue, the bark of a tree.

Softly she walked until she came beside him
And gently touched the sleeve of his coat.
She looked into eyes that had witnessed hell
And still was looking through that broken window.

“That day, the sea ate up our town.
I lost friends at the nuclear facility.
We tried, we tried but we were helpless.
The sea washed away my home,
The graves of my wife and son,
Friends, people I knew in the neighborhood.
Pets, belongings, altars…
All eaten by the wild animal sea.”

“And now I am here.
Alone. I eat alone, I sleep alone,
I drive alone.
I try to fix a meal to remind me of home
But it doesn’t smell the same
Or taste the same.
Gone…gone…so many just gone,
Swept away like garbage.”

She listened.
She took his hands in hers.
“I promise you –
Japan will rebuild.
The cherry blossoms will bloom.
Children will be born.
I am your friend.
You will make more friends.
Let us light candles for the souls of the lost.
Let us light incense and send our prayers
Out for those who live and who rebuild.
I promise you, on my honor.”

Fitful flakes of snow
caught in his hair
as he lit a candle and set it
at the base of the cherry tree.
He bent down
And she held him close as he wept.
She could only be his friend.

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

free public domain image

free public domain image

Happy 2015: Faith of the Heart

copyright kanzensakura

copyright kanzensakura

Happy new year, my friends who have become family. I wish you all the best of everything that is good to be present in your life and the lives of those you love.

I read your posts. Like me, I know you all have had rough patches, sad times, fear, despair….I have read of your struggles but mostly, I have read of your victories.  How you kept going in spite of everything.  You have lost jobs, homes, those you love.  You have been diagnosed with illnesses, had accidents. injuries.  But mostly, I have read of your faith and hope.

And always, I read your comments to me encouraging me.  I hope I have encouraged you all as well.

So….Happy 2015.  I know many of you will relate to this song which has reminded me many times of that “faith of the heart”.  I pray we are all of moving from the cold dark to the warm light.  You all lift me up and I hope on this first day of the new year, I can do the same for you.

My prayers go out for you all daily.  Bless you all.

 

Six Years Ago Today – Return from hiatus, Cancer, and other such things

With apologies to my friend Bill Hamilton: I don’t like Florida. Good people there but it is just too darn hot and steamy – and the mosquitos…..like a biblical plague. Enough about that.  This is a long post and I hope no one will be offended by it.  I hope you will please read all of it.

This is one of those rambling posts and eventually, I’ll get to the points about the kindness of unstrangers (one of my favorite topics) and to tell you all, God’s not dead. Please don’t stop reading because this is an important post and concerns a diagnosis of cancer. I know many of you do not believe in the existence of a supreme being for whatever reason. And that is cool. I neither condemn nor attempt to convert. I just want you all to know: God’s not dead.

Six years ago, I should have died from uterine cancer, but I did not. Six years ago, I was not feeling well, was constantly tired, in pain, troublesome symptoms. I had scheduled an appointment with my MD and based on things I had told her, she determined I needed more of an exam rather than just the usual. It happens on that day, she was not able to come into the office so her PA (physicians assistant) took her calls. Being a bit hypervigilant, he examined me and took the procedure a little further than usual. A week later, my PAP smear came back with an abnormal reading. I was sent to a specialist who biopsied and then two weeks later, I found out I had uterine cancer.

Uterine cancer is normally a killer. It mimics other diseases and symptoms and because PAP smears usually are not taken from higher up than normal but this one time, the PA went higher. Because of his vigilance, the cancer was caught at virtually ground zero. Women usually die from this cancer because it is usually found and diagnosed too late.

The week before this diagnosis, I was teaching my adult Sunday School about acceptance and God’s timing. Tuesday, I was told about the cancer. I’ll be honest; I felt like I was sucker punched. I sat in my car and wept and shivered and wept some more. I kept hugging to myself that God would take care of me. I told myself over and over that what God brings me to, He will carry me through by His grace. I assured myself that the oncologist I was referred to, would take care of me. I went to him that afternoon because of the diagnosis. He told me it was nothing short of miraculous the uterine cancer had been found so early. That there was hope for my recovery. I then went home and told my family.

Telling my family was the hardest part. My mother was angry. She said that I didn’t deserve this, that I was a good person and God had no right to do this to me. My husband looked like I had kicked him in the family jewels and just stared. I was calm. I told them it would be okay that I believed, however it turned out, that it would be okay. The oncologist (one of THE best in Richmond for women’s cancers) would be taking care of me and was optimistic about my recovery. I had faith in the love of God and His plans for me.

I told myself this over and over and over. People at my church prayed for me and my family. People who didn’t know me prayed, sent their positive thoughts, vibrations, wishes…I was so surrounded by love and light from so many people, many of them strangers.

The day came for my surgery. I would be in hospital on my birthday – I took note of the irony of that. Now this is the really hard part. I know people are going to scoff at this but that’s okay too. My family and some friends were sitting in the waiting room, waiting to hear how things went and would go in the future. My husband said the doctor, when he came out was very still and had an odd look on his face. He thought to himself, he’s going to tell us she died, that she will die, that it is hopeless. My mother began crying.

The doctor then said, the surgery went well. When I opened her up, the parts that had shown up on the MRI and PET were clean. There was no cancer – everything was as clean as when I was born, no lymphatic problems, no cancer. He went ahead and performed the surgery to be on the safe side. He shook his head and told them, “This is a first for me. Your wife, your daughter is fine.” He then shook hands with everyone there and went back to perform another surgery. My mother said people began to cheer and hug each other. When my family was allowed to see me, they told me what had happened. Truly, it turned out okay. So again I say, God’s not dead.

For some reason, I was given this incredible miracle. No, it was not a mistaken diagnosis. I saw the results of the tests showing the infected parts of my body. I got a second opinion and went back to my oncologist.

I have been in Florida with my mother. She is currently in a rehab health center. She had decided to give up and starve herself to death and came really close. the week before I went down, every time the phone rang, I expected it. She asked me to please bring her some good juicy tangy Southern tomatoes. I made her tomato sandwiches twice a day while I was there and she ate every bite. I spoke to the Doctor and dietician about what she was being fed (pureed food that looked like a combo of pig puke and cow poop and smelled about the same) and why? So now she is being fed regular food and doing okay with it. We all know hospital food ain’t the best, but she is eating some of the food off her tray every day and drinking her nutritional supplement. She has gained four pounds. From being at death’s door, she is now waiting to be transitioned to assisted living.

I told Mama about all the amazing people and especially those of you in the blogosphere who sent prayers to her, who sent positive vibes and feelings of light and love. She was so encouraged by your kindness. I was as well. We still have some tough times to go through, but I feel better about some things regarding her.

And again I say, as long as there are people who care, even about strangers, no matter their belief or unbelief, that God’s Not Dead. I am proof of this. The way my mother was encouraged and lifted up is proof. I never cease to be amazed by the goodness and caring of my fellow humans on this earth.

So however you feel or believe, that is fine.  Just don’t ever stop believing in the goodness of our fellow travelers on this journey of life.  Never stop caring, never stop letting people know you care, always accept that care and love from others.

Two Music Videos – Japanese

I’ve posted about World Order before – one of my favorite groups. Combine electronic music with hypnotic robotic movements to explore crass commercialism, mystic beliefs, boy meets girl fun, the power within you to change, and the newest, Last Dance. Genki Sudo, retired kickboxing champ and martial artist, is front man, singer, choreographer. Last Dance epitomizes “mono no aware” = the pathos of things, the sadness felt at the passing of an era. We see anti-nuclear protests, trees that survived the tsunami bolstered up in the midst of a massive mall, a segment on the beach with Fukishima Power plant in the background, depersonalized automated food/medicine/whatever production, and to me, most wistful telling of times in Japan, a stormy Fuji in the background showing the bare minimum view of the infamous Suicide Forest.

I love Japan, but I think most of you know this. Seeing Last Dance evokes the mono no aware in me – thinking of the Japan I knew 30 years ago and the changes but also, the things that stay the same. Knowing several engineers from Fukishima who are now based in the US, I look at this video and see the movement of the waves, the enveloping, the taking away in the dance movements. I know these men who have lost everything they hold dear.

I hope rather than make you sad, this video will remind us of how we on this Earth, are a family. From mudlides in Washinton, plane crashes, tsunamis – we all weep when we lose a loved one, are stirred to help, pray for those affected, and hope for a brighter future. The kindness of (un)strangers. Let us be kinder.

A lighter video – Change Your Life (forever) bespeaks the power within us to change, reinvent, improve our lives.

I hope you enjoy. I enjoy sharing!

Last Dance

 

Change Your Life (forever)

Awakening

This is for all of us who seek.  Let us empty ourselves and let the Awakening fill us.  This is especially for my friend Beni.

 

Summer Solstice: Prequel 06/14 12:59 a.m. tanka

 

Warm summer night: storm
has passed…soft rain baptizes
me a supplicant
of peace alone in the night
heart open to hold the stars.

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