A letter from Sendai

(Note: the following letter was posted on an email list I belong to without credit to whomever actually wrote it. Subsequently, it was revealed to me the author is Anne Thomas of Ode Magazine. Apparently, the letter is going viral. I hope Anne doesn’t mind the reposting here on my little blog. You can find the original article here:

http://www.odemagazine.com/blogs/readers_blog/24755/a_letter_from_sendai

I hope that should disaster find its way into my life, or into yours, we all could live it in the way Anne describes below.)

Hello My Lovely Family and Friends,

First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me. I am very touched. I also wish to apologize for a generic message to you all. But it seems the best way at the moment to get my message to you.

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 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 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.”

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens
are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for
half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on.

But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not.
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 lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking
their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No
cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered
with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled.

The mountains are 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 entranceway. 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.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is
a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is
better off than others. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the
country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed
an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world
right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now
in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I
felt so small because of all that is happening. I don’t. Rather, I feel as
part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of
birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return, to you all,

Anne Thomas

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28 Responses to A letter from Sendai

  1. Lisa says:

    Found the original after a quick google search. Anne Thomas is the author.

    http://www.odemagazine.com/blogs/readers_blog/24755/a_letter_from_sendai

    • Well hello Lisa,

      Thank you writing and for providing the answer and the obvious way you found the author.For some reason I didn’t even think to try a google search. I am not sure who Anne Thomas is, but I am glad she wrote her letter.

      Kind regards. Candace

  2. OH my such vehement replies.

    Have neither of you ever been involved in a real human tragedy where people come together and rise above the physical events happening around them?

  3. dan bloom says:

    lorette said it right and i have just emailed to Anne directlu to get her reactions to this criticism of her O LOOK AT ME I AM SO BLESSED NEW AGE CRAPOLA with 25,000 dead around her. YUCK!

    re “Great comments my words also… What the hell had Anne taken before she wrote this stuff?
    Go see how blessed the people really are you idiot
    Get down off the high ground!!!!!!!!!!”

    by lorette March 23, 2011 at 11:42 pm

  4. These reactions continue to fascinate me. The thing that seems to bother you all is you think Anne is arrogant. Hmmm.

    Okay. Let’s go with that. What sort of reaction would you like a reasonable (not arrogant)person to have?

    Should they run around wailing or wringing their hands? Complain or whine for government assistance maybe? Or put in a strong complaint to Mother Earth for the earthquake or tsunami?

    I seriously would love any of the above people who commented to tell me.

    I do appreciate you taking the time out to comment at all. I really do.

    Thank you.

    Candace

    • dan bloom says:

      Candace…if she had not used the word BLESSES so often in her first letter, how blessed she felt to be there in Sendai, very arrogant entitled New Agey White Man’s POV…..and if she had cut the crap about Sendai quake being part of an evolutionary step toward the birthing of a new conciousness and Cosmic Cosmos….WTF? i mean people are dead all around her and she is talking New Age stuff? there is a time and place for that, but not now, not there in Japan now…i am New AGe musel;f, but Anne is totally arrogant case. See my blogs on this. I wamt her to explainm herself….someday…BLESSED? i guess she was BLESSED when she saw the THAILAND tsunamai too. What is with these people like her? Blessed? OPkay, maybe i don’t get it , Candace,. i admit. so explain it to me

      DANNY, Tufts 1971

  5. Eddie Vonter says:

    Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed
    an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world
    right at this moment.

  6. Eddie Vonter says:

    Think about this, Anne:

    [ 九死に一生 ] ”Kyushi ni issho” — dying is 90 percent, but surviving is 10 percent
    (literally, this means, in other words) => ……to have a narrow escape from death.
    it is an old Japanese proverb

  7. Eddie Vonter says:

    Why Anne Thomas feels so BLESSED to be in Japan…
    ….where she can spout New Age drivel about feeling so BLESSED to be alive and living in a disaster zone so can spout nonsense about the Cosmic Rebirth of the World which she herself witnessed with her own White Woman’s New Age eyes amidst the terrible suffering and tragedy of Japan’s March 11 earthqake and tsunami and now her letter to the world has gone viral on New Age websites and blogs where they can all marvel at how BLESSED they all are to be alive and living as the Cosmic Cosmoc Rebirths itself amidst the sadness and tragedy of Japan. YUCK!

  8. Eddie Vonter says:

    SO HAPPY TO BE HERE. JUST DON’T ASK THE JAPANESE WHO DIED OR THEIR RELATIVES WHO BEING INFERIOR TO WHITE GODDESS GIRLS LIKE ME DO NOT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT BIRTH OF NEW AGE COSMOS EVEN WHEN 25,000 DIED HERE I LOVE THIS BLESSEDNESS THAT I HAVE EARNED. During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. THEY ARE NOT BLESSED BUT I AM. SEE? BECAUSE I AM A WESTERN BRAT FOR THE WEST WHO FIND BLESSEDNESS IN DEATH AND DESTRUCTION BE IN THAILAND OR JAPAN. See?

  9. Eddie Vonter says:

    What Anne Thomas really meant to write in her That Went Viral Worldwide

    Dear Friends,
    First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me.
    Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I have some wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. 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, and share stories.

    During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”

    We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. Such as thinking about the enormity of the disaster. It is really so sad.

    I wish it had never happened. But like they say in the West: shit happens. Damn.

    Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country, bringing food and water.
    .
    Dear Japan, I hope you heal and get better soon,

    Thank you again for your concern, I am fine, really, and I send you all my love,
    Anne,

  10. Eddie Vonter says:

    Somehow at this time Anne realizes from direct experience that there is indeed
    an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world
    right at this moment.

    SAY THAT AGAIN, ANNE? What? so the quake and big wave occurred so that we expats can witness the ECE step occuring all over the world?

    Loretta and Danny above were right.

  11. Eddie Vonter says:

    Anne:

    [ 九死に一生 ] ”Kyushi ni issho” — dying is 90 percent, but surviving is 10 percent
    (literally, this means, in other words) => ……to have a narrow escape from death.
    it is an old Japanese proverb

  12. Eddie Vonter says:

    What sort of reaction would you like a reasonable (not arrogant)person to have? BE HUMBLE NOT ARROGANT NEW AGE CLODS.

    Should they run around wailing or wringing their hands? A BIT YES

    Complain or whine for government assistance maybe?
    YES A BIT TOO

    Or put in a strong complaint to Mother Earth for the earthquake or tsunami? MOTHER EARTH CANNOT HEAR US DEAR

    I seriously would love any of the above people who commented to tell me. I TOLD YOU YOU DELTED ME

    I do appreciate you taking the time out to comment at all. I really do. I DO TOO

    Thank you.

    • Eddie

      I personally think humans who think that *only* humans have consciousness is the most arrogant concept of all.

      The earth CAN hear you!

      I will keep all of your comments. 🙂

  13. Hey Danny, thanks for coming back to reply.
    Where is your blog?

    Not that it really matters, but I would like to say I lived for a short while on the island of Okinawa as a child and have fond memories of the Japanese people myself.

    I count the word “blessed” three times in Anne’s original letter/article. Once for the friends she has helping her, once for the fact she is on high ground (literally) and missed much of the damage, and once because food and water were delivered to her.

    She talks about people helping each other and not seeing looting. She talks about people being part of a group effort that is caring for the group. She talks about the fact that even in the failing of technology, which is of course life changing because we depend upon it so much, she sees the opportunity to see the stars at night.

    I personally think we ALL are far too disconnected from our planet and far FAR too dependent upon technology. Although I am quite protective of the rights of the individual, I think the way humans have split ourselves up from family and community units has been detrimental.

    The recent events in Japan have brought some of those elements back into focus. We NEED each other, we need community, don’t we?

    I don’t know Anne and as far as I know, this is the only piece of writing I have ever read of hers. Do you think by saying she is blessed in the midst of suffering she has no compassion? Or doesn’t realize others not in her neighborhood may not have food or shelter? I think by saying she is blessed to have them, she does acknowledge that.

    Do you think the Japanese around her who are helping her and helping her feel blessed would wish her to have another sort of reaction? Anger? hopelessness maybe? Should she not feel blessed she has their help?

    Should her letter, or a letter of someone not arrogant, focus on only the horror? Does she demand special consideration or attention?

    I read her letter, as I am fairly sure many out there have, as someone who was able to see love and compassion for others DURING a tragedy. Does speaking of those things eliminate the pain? Or worse, increase it?

    By saying her heart is opening to humanity, that seems to really bother some people. Why is that?

    If you re-wrote her letter as someone NOT arrogant what would you have written?

    Again, thanks for your comments, they do make me think!

    Candace

  14. eddie vonder says:

    Candace this is me danny but the blog rejects my posts under that name so i am here as Eddie but just to get past the censors….SIGH..

    re your very good response above, i added my coments belw in CAPS

    You wrote, Candace:

    “I count the word “blessed” [JUST] three times in Anne’s original letter/article.

    1. *Once for the friends she has helping her, once for the fact she is on high ground (literally) and missed much of the damage, and once because food and water were delivered to her. TRUE. BUT BLESSED IS THE WRONG LOADED WORD TO USE HERE. NOW. BUT OKAY FOR USING FOR HER FRIENDS THERE YES. THEY ARE A BLESSING FOR HER. YES. SO THIS USE OKAY.

    She talks about people helping each other and not seeing looting. JAPANESE NEVER LOOT. WAKE UP. I LIVED THERE 5 YEARS. THIS IS NORMAL JAPAN. SHE HAS BEEN THERE 20 YEARS. SHE KNOWS BETTER.

    She talks about people being part of a group effort that is caring for the group. THAT IS JAPAN CULTURE NORMAL DAILY LIFE.

    She talks about the fact that even in the failing of technology, which is of course life changing because we depend upon it so much, she sees the opportunity to see the stars at night. OH BLESSINGS OF LIFE. ANNE CAN SEE THE STARS. OH WOW. SHE NEVER LOOKED BEFORE. FOR 20 YEARS IN JAPAN SHE NEVER LOOKED. I SEE STARS EVERY NIGHT. I DONT NEED a 311 TO BLESS ME FOR THIS.

    I personally think we ALL are far too disconnected from our planet and far FAR too dependent upon technology. DANNY REPLY: SO THIS IS WHY THE QUAKE AND TSUNAMI HAPPENED? DIVINE PUNISHMENT CANDACE? MOTHER EARTH WARING US OF MORE TO COME? GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!

    Although I am quite protective of the rights of the individual, I think the way humans have split ourselves up from family and community units has been detrimental. SO THIS IS WHY 311 HAPPENED? COME ON!~

    The recent events in Japan have brought some of those elements back into focus. We NEED each other, we need community, don’t we?
    YES YES YES GOOD POINT.

    I don’t know Anne and as far as I know, this is the only piece of writing I have ever read of hers. Do you think by saying she is blessed in the midst of suffering she has no compassion? SHE DOES HAVE COMPASSION YES BUT IN A NEW AGEY ME ME ME WAY….

    Or doesn’t realize others not in her neighborhood may not have food or shelter? I think by saying she is blessed to have them, she does acknowledge that. BLESSED IS THE WRONG WORD HERE.
    Do you think the Japanese around her who are helping her and helping her feel blessed would wish her to have another sort of reaction? YES SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR JAPAN CULTURE AND CUT THE NEW AGE BALONEY!

    Anger? NO!

    hopelessness maybe? NO!

    Should she not feel blessed she has their help? AGAIN BLESSED IS THE WRONG WORD HERE AT THIS TIME.
    IMHO

    Should her letter, or a letter of someone not arrogant, focus on only the horror? FIRST THE LETTER SHOULD FOCUS ON THE HORROR YES.

    Does she demand special consideration or attention? YES SHE IS ALL ME ME ME! TYPICAL SPOILED WESTERN WHITE GODDESS BRAT~

    I read her letter, as I am fairly sure many out there have, as someone who was able to see love and compassion for others DURING a tragedy. TRUE. SHE DOES EXPRESS THAT WELL…’

    Does speaking of those things eliminate the pain? IT HELPS.

    Or worse, increase it? NO IT HELPS HEAL YES

    By saying her heart is opening to humanity, that seems to really bother some people. Why is that?
    BUT THIS IS NOT ABOUT HUMMANITY CANDACE. THIS IS ABOUT 25,000 PEOPLE WHO DIED IN HER NEIGHBORHOOD AND ALL SHE CAN DO IS SPOUT NEW AGE NONSENSE…VERY INSENSTIVE AND SO ME ME ME. I BELEIVE SHE IS MEMBER OF A NEW AGE CULT CALLED SATOYAMA, MY SOURCES TELL ME

    If you re-wrote her letter as someone NOT arrogant what would you have written? SEE MY BLOG

    Again, thanks for your comments, they do make me think! GOOD. I JUST WANT TO MAKE PEOPLE THINK, PRO AND CON. I HAVE NO AGENDA OTHER THAN CLEAR THINKING. AND WHERE I AM WRONG, PLEASE EXCUSE ME, I AM STILL LEARNING THE ROPES TOO

    DANNY

    Candace

  15. eddie vonder says:

    anne should have written THIS letter IMHO

    Dear Friends,
    First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me.
    Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I have some wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. 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, and share stories.

    During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”

    We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. Such as thinking about the enormity of the disaster. It is really so sad.

    I wish it had never happened. But like they say in the West: shit happens. Damn.

    Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country, bringing food and water.
    .
    Dear Japan, I hope you heal and get better soon,

    Thank you again for your concern, I am fine, really, and I send you all my lowercase love,
    Anne, NOT a New Age Arrogant Goddess Princess but the REAL Anne Thomas whose feet
    are firmly planted on terra firma, well, sometimes terrra firma….

  16. eddie vonder says:

    RE:
    “I personally think humans who think that *only* humans have consciousness is the most arrogant concept of all.
    The earth CAN hear you!
    I will keep all of your comments. :)”

    THE EARTH IS mADE OF ROCK AND STONE AND WATER AND LAVA. IT CANNOT HEAR ANYTHING. WAKE UP NEW AGE SILLINESS. SOUNDS COOL. BUT JESUS DID NOT WALK ON WATER AND THE EARTH CANNOT HEAR YOU. SIGH. FACE REALITY. BUT THEN AGAIN, YOU JOINED A CULT BECAUSE YOU DO NOT WANT TO FACE REALITY. BECAUSE LIFE IS CRUEL AND THEN WE DIE. YOU DONT LIKE THAT. SIGH

    — danny bloom, tufts 1971 (1949-2032)

  17. eddie vonder says:

    candace, can you explain this use of evoltuoonaryu cosmic step in anne ‘s letter.? i am all ears

    re

    ”Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed
    an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world
    right at this moment.”

    DIRECT EXPERIENCE? IS SHE GOD NOW? oi vey!

    SAY THAT AGAIN, ANNE? What? so the quake and big wave occurred so that we expats can witness the ECE step occuring all over the world?

  18. eddie vonder says:

    michael, a stranger who came to my blog posted this and while i do not agree with it all, these are his words: food for thought too! — danny

    ”I think she is blessed! She is alive.
    Those who died, have to affront now “G.d” and his judgment.

    I suggest her to leave Japan and travel to a country where there is no Tsunami (for the time being) and no earthquakes (for the time being). The world, as we know it, is begining to change. Remember, it began a litle more than twenty years ago (The berlin wall and the freedom for millions, the natural catastrophies, the multiple wars, and now the “judgements” of the corrupts and despots in the arab world. Only the righteous are to survive. May we see the new world that the prophets announced us more than 2000 years ago.

    Since Anne is speaking about rebirth, I must say that a Kabalist told me recently that those who fight now to save people from an atomic disaster are the souls of those the “kamikases” who came back to repair themselves. After killing people – and killing themselves- they were asked to come back to earth to save lifes by risking their life.
    Michael”

  19. eddie vonder says:

    michael also posted this comment a bit different but same too: from his use of G.d for God or god, I believe he is an Orthodox Jewish man in Israel.

    he commented and see last graf:

    ”I think Anne Thomas is blessed! She is alive.
    Those who died, have to affront now “G.d” and his judgment.

    I suggest her to leave Japan and travel to a country where there is no Tsunami (for the time being) and no earthquakes (for the time being). The world, as we know it, is begining to change. Remember, it began a litle more than twenty years ago (The berlin wall and the freedom for millions, the natural catastrophies, the multiple wars, and now the “judgements” of the corrupts and despots in the arab world. Only the righteous are to survive. May we see the new world that the prophets announced us more than 2000 years ago.

    Since Anne is speaking about rebirth, I must say that a Kabalist told me recently that those who fight now to save people from an atomic disaster are the souls of those the “kamikases” who came back to repair themselves. After killing people – and killing themselves- they were asked to come back to earth to save lifes by risking their life.
    Michael”

  20. eddie vonder says:

    and Candace, one more note, My posts at ODE magazine site where Anne’s blog it, they have all been blocked and deleted. Unlike your site here, which is open to all POV, ODE mag censors things it does not want to hear. I rust my case! SIGH.

    danny blogger to the world, sometimes right, sometimes wrong, let’s all be friends and discuss things as friends….my philosophy. I am not wise man. i am novice. freshman. blooming idiot.

  21. David Allen says:

    I would like to send a word of appreciation to Anne Thomas for her article, which is very much in line with some recent articles in the New York Times about life going on pretty much as usual in spite of being in the midst of earthquake damage.

    I am an Episcopal Priest and Monk of the Society of St. John the Evangelist. I was stationed from June 1962 to September 1975 in the work that the Society had in Japan. I lived in our house in Higashi Kurume, Tokyo the first 3 years and then most of the next 10 years at St. Michael’s Monastery, Oyama, Tochigi Ken. During those years I was invited to give retreats a number of times at the chapel used by the Community of the Transfiguration, and later by the Community of Nazareth at St. Francis Church, Sendai (which is, or was, near the police academy). Several other times I visited missionary friends (no longer in Japan) at their home next to Christ Church Anglican Cathedral in downtown Sendai, on my way to or from a summer cottage the Society had at Lake Towada.

    Anne Thomas’s letter spoke to me of the indomitable spirit of the Japanese people, and of those like her who are living in Japan. Is she by any chance the daughter of the late well known news analyst and commentator, Lowell Thomas? If so, I remember well the experiences of the Thomas family in the 1964 earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska, and I had occasion to meet her at the SSJE Monastery in Cambridge, MA sometime around 1978 or 79.

    David Allen, SSJE
    Emery House, 21 Emery Lane
    West Newbury, MA 01985

  22. David Allen says:

    Your account of life in post earthquake Sendai touched me deeply

  23. Timothy Tang says:

    I will help you Candace to understand the reason for the fury caused by Eddie. I am not him btw I also don’t like how the writer used the word blessed. I am a writer myself and I know how using the word in the situation of a disaster can sound to some readers who are more sensitive.

    The woman in the article using the word blessed implies that she did not have to go through the full effects of the tsunami but the ones who died did. She implies that she is lucky or blessed but the people who died are not lucky and not blessed enough. She deserves to be alive but others do not. Doing so does not make her seem humble but makes her seem like she thinks of herself to be superior in some way.

    The more diplomatic and sensitive way of saying that she is experiencing a valuable lesson should not done by using the word blessed. She should not have made the distinction between herself and the one who died. Because in true fact, there is no such thing as luck.

    She should simply say that she is glad to be alive, and add that she would learn from what the disaster has caused to the people. She could have been more sensitive and humble and said something like,

    “I am so glad and grateful to be alive from the disaster, it has taught me to cherish more of my life, however all of us here who are spared from the disaster still have much to learn from it as we try to survive day-to-day, we welcome any outside help that you the readers of my article can spare us”.

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