Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tsuki o miru


That's Japanese for "looking at the moon" and a five-syllable start of many a haiku. I watched last night's supermoon and saw in the craters the image of a rabbit pounding rice with a traditional Japanese mortar that looks a lot like an American butter churn. While Westerners struggle to see the face of a man in the moon, for thousands of years, Japanese have seen the mochi-making rabbit. Once you see the rabbit, you can't go back to seeing the man. I hope--in this year of the rabbit--last night's image on the moon brought some measure of comfort to everyone in Japan.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blog Lapse & Diversion

My lapse of blogging since the year began is due to a pernicious eye inflammation that limits my computer and reading time. While I don't expect to post on my former twice a week schedule for awhile, I did want to let my loyal readers know where they can read a story of mine online.

Perhaps this mother/daughter story set in the California desert will be a welcome distraction from our concern about Japan.
Creosote Women by Sara Backer

March Earthquake

I am so worried about Japan. I remember middle-of-the-night earthquake drills when I lived in Shizuoka. I would hear loud, garbled Japanese over loudspeakers, and hear my neighbors move around and leave their apartments. I had no idea what to do, so just got dressed and stayed in my apartment hoping for the best. I also visited northern Japan, so when I watch the news, I am seeing places I have walked. I was in Sendai for the Tanabata festival, walking block after block of streets below beautiful hand-made circular banners . . .

And now, the Fukushima power plants have exploded. I barely know what this will mean for Japan and the world.

The Japanese would say shikata-ga nai (it can't be helped). All I can do is go on living my life while my thoughts keep straying to my friends in peril and the country I came to regard as my second home.