Monday, March 14, 2011

Too Much

"As the woman spoke in Japanese, the interpreter's voice trembled in English: Her daughter was washed away. She was washed away, and she has not found her." This is from a news report on CNN today. The woman held on to a tree as the waters swirled. And now her daughter is gone. 

As the waves recede, thousands of the dead are washing up on Japan's shores. The living search among them for loved ones and the toll now stands at 10,000 or more lost in the rubble or the water. It's Haiti and Katrina and Chernobyl melding into one long nightmare. I cannot take it in. I feel a strange surreal distance. Raw. Scraped bare. Going through the motions. I want to look away. I want to gaze upon my children and locate myself in their faces. I want to close my door and hide from the grief of so many lost and searching, unsheltered from the cold. We haven't been paying attention. We've been drunk on our blessings, looking inward, not out.

The suffering is to too much. I cannot take it in.

And yet it touches us anyway.


  1. That painting is outrageous. I know.

  2. I'm feeling the same....the incredible, intense tragedy which keeps unfolding is horrific. I'm finding the news in general - the state of the world through natural disasters and political turmoil is overwhelming me. I wish I could go back to being naive and uninformed...but it's not going to happen.
    Keep going my to day. xo

  3. The perils of the information age combined with the absence of any tangible means of helping besides contributing money make for very sobering thoughts. I wish I could stop checking the news throughout the day, but I can't. I can't stop imagining the horror, and wishing it weren't so.

  4. We may not be drunk on our own blessings but finding deeper gratitude for what we have as the fragility of life is brought to our attention, again and again. Such tragedy can paralyze us or turn us to our hearts. I believe that even a silent sharing of love, sending of thoughts and prayers, has an impact. We may feel helpless but we do have something meaningful to offer. xo

  5. P.S. - no need to post - thank you for The Kingston Lounge

  6. Feel the pain, my dear friend. For it belongs to all of us...

    Much love,

  7. I can't take it all in. Why this had to happen...I just can't understand. And I feel fussy...and I can't do much to change anything.

  8. Yes, Angella, I feel the same way. I wrote about this yesterday, and it was one of the most difficult posts to write. It took a long time, because words felt so inadequate. Your feelings mirror those of us all, and that's hard to convey in words, but you did that beautifully here.

  9. Elizabeth, the painting says what I couldn't.

    Susanjva, the hard and the good exist side by side, and when we can't do anything about the hard, then maybe the best thing is the wade right into the what is good and be thankful for it as hard as we can. Sending you love, my friend. You are part of my good.

    Mel, we do what we can. And we hold our loved ones close. That is so important.

    Marylinn, i love this, the idea that a silent sharing of love can have an impact. yes, yes.

    Debra, it doesn't feel real. i keep wondering why that is. i think it is too much to absorb and still keep going. i'm going to do what Marylinn says. Send prayers, hope, love.

    Kim, i know what you mean. I think we all feel fussy. Wanting to help but not knowing how to do so in a meaningful and lasting way. But perhaps opportunities will show themselves down the road.

    Jayne, this was a hard post for me to write as well. I kept reaching for and discarding words because none of them felt true enough. I felt as if I was verging on sensationalizing tragedy, or else being too detached from it. The post came out in a way that was so halting. So I know what you mean. But you wrote beautifully about this on your site, and to have Georgia O'Keefe as your earthly muse, was so right. Thanks for being here.