Saturday, March 12, 2011

Each voice, each life

Author Jo Knowles wrote an excellent post titled Write like there's no one in the room.

There's something that frees us to take risks, explore our boundaries, let our spirit rise when we are not concerned about eyes watching or critics judging. And each of us has something to say, in a way no one else will say it.

Each voice. Each person. Each life. That's what's on my mind. The images coming from Japan bring me to my knees, cause such anguish and heartbreak.

I grieve for the country. I cry for each person whose voice is gone.

None of us know if we will live a century or be handed an abbreviated life as I wrote about in my last post.

We have no control over some things, but we can control how we spend our time, how we treat other people and what kind of legacy we leave. I am guilty of many mistakes in life and can only hope that each time I pick myself up and go on that I will do better.
Recent events hammer home to me how much each second matters, how my petty worries are insignificant within the bigger scope of life, how I have a responsibility to myself and others to let my light--whatever it is--shine and not shroud it in fear and self-doubt.

We live on a volatile planet in a volatile universe. I have loved this Earth, this tiny planet in the vastness of space, with the fierceness of a mother. I have feared her, too.

This Earth, in all its beauty and danger, is what we have. What we do is up to us.


Photo of a supernova remnant, courtesy of NASA.
(Important update: For those of you who know blogger Claire Dawn in Iwate, she has posted that she is safe. I am filled with such relief.)


The Words Crafter said...

Wise and lovely words....

Donna said...

Wow! You speak for us all.

Jemi Fraser said...

Perfect. The images of Japan are devastating. There has been much heartache lately. We do need to make sure we share our joys and focus on make life a little better for those in need.

Hannah said...

Beautiful post, Tricia.

cleemckenzie said...

I went through the '89 Loma Prieta quake and can't imagine a quake that's triple the intensity of that. But Japan's was that and maybe more.

We are on a volatile orb, indeed, and this reminds us of how fragile we are.

Thanks for the great post.

Bish Denham said...

Earth is a harsh mistress and loving mother at the same time.I have not be able to watch the news. Hurts too much.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Beautiful post. All of it really hits home.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Everyone--WordsCrafter, Donna, Jemi, Hannah, Lee, Bish, Suzanne--thank you so much for these comments. They mean a lot to me.

And, Lee--I have been through a number of significant earthquakes myself and can't imagine the power (and terror) of 8.9. I hope we never find out.

Wen Baragrey said...

I think this whole thing shows us just what a global community we are. A disaster in Japan is a disaster for us all. Those waves touched every country in the Pacific.

I believe so much in taking care of this planet, but sometimes, I think we forget that we are just ants on its surface. One little shiver, and She can flatten us all. This planet is to be respected, and feared.

Catherine Denton said...

I've been glued to the tv watching everything unfold in Japan. It's heart-wrenching. You make such good points about not wasting a second and I love your line about mother earth. Beautiful post, Tricia!
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Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Beautiful post...The recent tragedies have to make you stop and count your blessings.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Wen: I agree that we have become a global community. I feel like I know many people I've never met. I care so much about friends like you in Christchurch and Claire in Japan.

Catherine and Sharon: Thank you both so much. It matters that so many care.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Good job, Tricia. And now these people have this new radiation threat hanging over their heads. The authorities are pumping in seawater to cool the core, an action that is not in the manual. A desperate last resort. I heard that the quake was so huge it moved an island 8 feet and jarred the Earth on its axis. Chilling.

MG Higgins said...

Fragile, volatile, beautiful, deadly. Amazing how earth reflects its inhabitants. Lovely post, Tricia.

VR Barkowski said...

Beautiful post, thank you. It's so important to make each day count. Subconsciously we all know that we aren't in control, that we are just guests on the planet. But somehow the realization gets lost in our day-to-day living. These recent reminders have been devastating.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Yvonne: Chilling, yes. I'm devastated by this.

Mel: It reminds me of the phrase "terrible beauty."

Viva: You're right. We are guests, who arrived long after the planet was birthed in upheaval.

Paul Greci said...

Your post is a great call to be mindful, and grateful for every moment. Thanks, Tricia!

Davin Malasarn said...

Yes, Tricia, the situation in Japan is so sad, and I just keep wondering how I can do more and feel more for them. It sounds stupid, but I think that one of our jobs as writers is simply to be able to convey a situation such as this to the world, and you do that so well.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

What a lovely post. Your words ring so true. My heart breaks for everyone affected by this tragedy. Thank you for this.

Sarah Laurence said...

Well said. It is tragic.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Paul: Mindful is a good word for it. Sometimes the tiny irritations obscure the bigger picture.

Domey: It doesn't sound stupid. I think you're quite right and I'm honored you say I've done so. You do it, as well.

Cynthia and SarahL: Thank you both so much.

Robyn Campbell said...

Yes I know Claire is fine. Wonderful news. And I'm filled with such pain and anguish, too. How can this happen?

You hit on the core of life. Every second DOES matter. Pat such a thought provoking post. I love you my dear friend. :)

Still in bed, but trudging into my office, in the next room to try and get caught up. Still choking, but it might be getting a little better. Or maybe not. I dunno.

LynNerdKelley said...

You have a wonderful way with words, Tricia. Yes, every breath we take is a gift, and we should never take life for granted.

It's mind boggling to watch the crises in Japan continue to escalate. It's one nightmare built upon another nightmare and another. Then we hear about the four-month-old baby girl who was ripped from her parents' arms in the tsunami, only to be found four days later! These are the real life stories that give us hope. Now if they can get those nuclear plants under control before the unthinkable happens, the whole world will be thankful.

Unknown said...

That summed up my emotions better than I could. Truly, it's all about our choices. There's one thing I love though about going through hard times. Watching all the love and support that flows when tragedy happens is more beautiful than anything else. It's how I've been able to come to terms with my own emotions, knowing that there is good that comes from it.

I loved your comments about fear and self-doubt. It really does put those things in perspective too, *hugs*

Margo Berendsen said...

Loved how put this "Recent events hammer home to me how much each second matters, how my petty worries are insignificant within the bigger scope of life, how I have a responsibility to myself and others to let my light--whatever it is--shine and not shroud it in fear and self-doubt." Inspiring! This is the ONLY reason i can begin to fathom why such disasters happen. They wake the rest of us up to live our lives more brightly, with more love and consideration and compassion. Thank you!

Talli Roland said...

Wonderful words. It's horrible what is happening there.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Robyn: Thanks, my friend, and I sure hope you get back on your feet soon.

Lynn: It is nightmare upon nightmare. An earthquake of that magnitude would be horrible enough, but the tsunami was beyond comprehension, and now the nuclear threat overshadows all. Please, let them be able to fix it.

Nisa: I, too, am heartened when people show their goodness during tragedy. It gives me hope for the human race.

Talli: Thank you. We can only hope our words help.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Margo! I don't know how I missed your lovely comment. thanks so much. You're right--tragedies do wake us up.
I always loved this from Ursula LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea:
"Only in silence the word,
only in dark the light,
only in dying life:
bright the hawk's flight
on the empty sky."