A Letter from Sendai, Japan

I came across “Ode Magazine” a couple of years ago and it has appeared on my screen almost daily since then.

It is a rather unusual publication. It is “a print and online publication about positive news, about the people and ideas that are changing our world for the better.”

I know, such a publication should not at all be “unusual,” but these days, alas, it is.

Ode was founded in 1995 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands by Jurriaan Kamp and Helene de Puy who wanted to create an alternative to mainstream publications, “a magazine that was open to new inspirations and new visions from around the world.”

After publishing the magazine in Dutch for the first nine years, 2004 Kamp and de Puy—who are married—moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2004 and launched the English-language edition of the magazine. Ode now appears ten times a year in both English and Dutch, with a worldwide circulation of more than 100,000. (Ode on-line, almost daily)

Its community of readers are passionate about the magazine and the issues for which it stands: “positive social, environmental and economic change.” Ode’s aim: “To bring a new reality into view, to explore opportunities for positive change in our daily lives and our daily minds.”

Faced with the almost unfathomable human tragedy in Japan, one might think that Ode would be hard-pressed to come up with “positive news,” or with “new inspirations and new visions” on the disaster.

This week’s Ode has exactly one such piece, exactly what we need to read during such tragic circumstances.

Ode has published a letter sent from Sendai, Japan, by Ode blogger Anne Thomas, “ demonstrating the power of community and the spirit of resilience in difficult times.”

The letter starts:

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.

The writer concludes:

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.

In between, the letter writer tells us about the stoic nature of the Japanese people, their concern and caring for each other and for others—perfect strangers—their humanity, their continuing respect for the law and for orderliness even during such desperate circumstances and about the writer finding beauty and hope amid chaos and misery.

Please read the entire letter here

Author: DORIAN DE WIND, Military Affairs Columnist

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