So Monday happened... And there was no Reading. Well... There was reading, but I didn't share any of it. This week has been kind of odd. And I think maybe it had something to do with the fact that Passover started Monday night? Life this last week or so has just felt... In limbo. Like I was waiting for something big to happen. And it did. And now I can move forward, with remembrance.
Anyway. This post is not about yesterday or this week or Passover (as much as I would like it to be).
It's about Japan.
I'll be honest: I've been avoiding the whole subject.
I haven't looked at many photos. I haven't read much about it. I haven't talked about it, even among my friends who I see a lot. In fact, I've wholly forgotten about it a couple of times.
And I haven't given anywhere... Yet.
Am I a callused, selfish, ignorant fool?
Sometimes, it's just easier to bury your head in the sand. Sometimes, I like being that cartoon ostrich. Sometimes, it hurts too much to look Death and Pain and Carnage and Sorrow full in the face and not flinch.
Sometimes, I just don't want my heart to break. Lately has been one of those sometimes. I feel fragile. Or overwhelmed. Or both, maybe? I don't know.
Even as I'm writing this, my heart aches. For what I haven't seen, but I know must surely be. For the pain, the loss, the chaos, the heartache.
I guess maybe that's because I have to marinate on things - on big, scary, awful, important THINGS - for a while. I have to think about them and let them sit quietly in my heart.
Or else I'll get overwhelmed. And I'm useless when I'm overwhelmed.
And because there is so much else crowding my mind, my thoughts, and my actions. The day-to-day of life and small children and breathing and my own small world.
I think sometimes, during a life crisis or a breakdown or whatever it is that SOMEONE ELSE is going through, I can appear aloof, untouched and untouchable. In fact, I've had several family members tell me "You just don't care!" when I am presented with their hurricanes of life stuff.
And that's patently untrue. I DO CARE.
I care too much.
I care so much that I have to turn off my emotions. Otherwise I am engulfed by them, overtaken and the waves of my heart become tsunamis that threaten to destroy me, to overwhelm me. And I'm useless when I'm overwhelmed.
So I turn my emotions off (as best I can), and I become cool, logical Kristen. The female counterpart to Mr. Spock.
And only in the private moments of quiet do I allow them to come back and let the tears come. And believe me, they come. A lot more than I'd like to admit.
Perhaps this is a wrong way of dealing with the really heavy, hard, ultra-sad stuff... Perhaps. I don't know. But this is how I am able to cope.
So here we are.
Awful things have happened.
Japan has happened.
And I've sat quietly with it.
And the tears have come.
And I've turned them off.
And NOW is the time to talk about it.
So why am I posting about this now? A full month, a full SIX WEEKS after the first quake?
Because NOW, it's *not* breaking news anymore. It's old. It's stale. We already know all about that. It's after-the-fact. It's almost time to forget. Japan is the setting sun on the horizon of our collective memories. So what! Japan had yet ANOTHER major earthquake... We don't care, we've already heard about it.
That's why NOW Japan is so incredibly important.
When the rest of America has moved on, this is when *I* am ready to think about it, talk about it, and ACT on what has happened.
I've talked about it with KayKay (and a little with the Ladybug), and we've talked about what it means to be homeless and WITHOUT. Her emotions come more easily than mine, and she is strongly moved.
So as a family, we are donating to Shelterbox. I offered the choice up to KayKay and she felt the most connected to their work. I invite you to donate to them or the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders.
We are also contacting friends in Japan to discuss whether we can send them things directly that THEY PERSONALLY can distribute.
Please join us in continuing to pray for the people of Japan.
I know this is late... But it feels timely. It feels just right.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Do share, friends.