Tuesday, March 15, 2011


All day long I have felt as if the blog world was paralyzed by what's happening in Japan and that I should be too. I should be sitting in a chair in front of the TV, weeping and grieving for people there, worrying and fearing for the world as those nuclear power plants go up in flames.

And all day long, I have been thinking about it. I have checked the news online, I have wondered if we should get iodine tablets here. I have heard on NPR that really, there isn't that much you can do about radiation, I have visited Elizabeth who is going to send money to the Red Cross, a dollar for every comment. It has been somewhere deep in my mind all day but for some reason, I feel as if I am watching a movie. I feel guilty about that. But also, I feel completely justified for spending most of my day outside, doing what I do to make myself sane, working in the garden, digging and planting and mulching and watering and then taking greens and cabbage from the garden and chopping them up and making a bastard-mutt soup with leftovers and beans and tomatoes and now I am going to make cornbread.

If I really could wrap my mind around it all, the suffering, the horror, the water, the earth splitting apart, the children, the babies, the grandparents, the power plants spewing the worst sort of poison imaginable into the air, I would go insane.
And that would not serve anyone.
Not me, not my family, my community, and certainly not Japan.

I am not a pray-er so there is not even that. If there is a god, what sort of holy shit is this? No. Not me. It would not make me feel any better to offer up prayers and I do not think it will help anyone for me to do so.

And so I have spent this day doing the small things I can do to make my own world a better place. Is this wrong? Why do I feel as if I should be defending myself? I can knit my brow and I can fall apart. But in service to what? Is my soul cold, frozen, beyond redemption?

No. It is not.

I am not going to allow myself to swim in helplessness. I am not going to rend my clothes and weep.

I am going to go to bed fully aware of the knowledge that things can happen at any time which can blow open and apart the peace of perception we have of our world and yet, for my world, right this second, all is well. That this is what I have been given to deal with. That hurricanes may come here and drown everything I love or blow it away. That radiation can reach this place too. That cars can strike bodies, that bodies can be laid waste by disease, that love can take a walk, that terror is not something we can wage war on.

But that for right this second, it is spring and my hands belong in the dirt and my arms belong around the people I love and if it all comes to an end, well, I've done my part.

I'm going to go make cornbread now.

What else can I do? Open the screen door and let tonight's bat out, his leather wings flapping, a mammal in flight. I can put it all in perspective. I can be who I am, here, now, in this strange and terrible and wonderful world in which we live.

That's all I know to do.
And I will do my best to do it.

We all deal with things in the best way we know how.
You and me both.
None of these ways are wrong and we need to remember that, even as the world falls apart, even as nothing at all seems to have changed, even as we struggle to hold on as it all happens.


  1. I am right there with you. I don't want to sink into the hopelessness I feel about the devastation. Send money and tend my garden. That's what I can do today.

  2. You are doing something. Thoughts have a charge and they are something... so merely thinking about the Japanese is doing SOMEthing.

    It's just so big. We want to help in some tangible way, but honestly, all we really can do is thrown money at it and pray or hope for the best.

    Keep yourself strong and sane. That is always good!
    love you,

  3. I feel strangely disconnected from this as well. Don't know why. But, don't feel very guilty about it either....as you said, there is precious little we can do and even less good that would come of making our own selves crazy in the process.

  4. It is indeed a terrible terrible thing. I know when I have been devastated by something and go outside I notice that the rest of the world just continues on as though nothing happened. The sun shines. Day turns to night. A dog barks. And somebody somewhere is getting laid. Life does go on even though it seems to be an affront. Falling apart here does not help there - in fact, it would likely, in some small way, somehow make it worse.

  5. this might sound strange but i feel ignited. i feel distilled, raw, riveted on the living. i have spent these last days outside, tending the earth. i have felt my heart expanding to include the world.
    i have watched all the small incidentals of life blow away, away from this call out to live fiercely, to love enormously.
    to wrap the branches of spring around a heart rock and stand in silence, under heaven, on the firm earth and love.... even more.

  6. Row your boat until something snatches the oars from you. Right? Carry on, Ms. Moon.

  7. i totally get where you are, ms. moon. and no need to defend yourself. none. you live your life, cherishing what is sweet and loving in your days, and that is the best energy you can send out to the earth, to all of us.

    for me, my children are home for spring break, and friends with them, and it makes no sense for me to lose myself in grief and loss when there is so much happy and life around me. i am holding this with open hands. i know how much it all hangs by threads. for today, the threads are holding, and I am grateful.

    rock on.

  8. why you put tomato in that soup? that sounds gross.

  9. I imagine that many Japanese would be comforted to know that Ms. Mary Moon is doing so, that life is going on -- perhaps not like always but that it does persevere and is often beautiful. We all do what we can -- and you "can" is a blessed thing.

  10. I know what you mean. But, joy has just as much right to exist during times of tragedy. They both exist on earth at all times. Granted, this is a tragedy on a huge scale, but still there are small wonders and miracles for us to hold tight.

  11. I've looked at so many pictures and videos but it is hard for it to be real to me. I know there is so much suffering but it's hard to truly understand such devastation. Tend to your garden, take care of Owen and love those around you. It's another reminder to take nothing for granted.

    Last year A almost took off to the Haiti after the earthquake. I'm just hoping she doesn't get it in her mind to take off to Japan.

  12. There's this thing about world catastrophes, they impinge on all us and yet there is little we outsiders can do, other than to be aware but not to panic and to admire those in the thick of it.

    You can't be responsible for everything, Ms Moon, but you are responsible for your lot and your life and you do the best you can there.

    It won't help anyone for you to hole up inside just because some of the Japanese might need to. At least that's my take on it.

  13. I am so with you on this one. Thank you for posting.

  14. Lisa- Yes.

    Ms. Fleur- Trying, babe.

    SJ- Japan is such a rich country. Maybe that's why we're having a harder time. I don't know.

    Jeannie- Exactly. Perfect. True.

    rebecca- I think I am feeling some of that too. That by cherishing my bit of Earth, I am doing the best I can. But you put it so beautifully.

    Ms. Trouble- That is it.

    Angella- Those threads- I love that- they are holding and as such, we cradle them. Thank-you.

    daddy B- I ADORE you! You'd love this soup, you silly boy. Especially with cornbread.

    Elizabeth- I know one thing- when disaster comes and ones life is torn asunder, one thinks back on when that life was normal and boring and one weeps for it to be so again.

    Lora- Hold those miracles of yours tight. I know you do.

    Mel's Way- Take nothing for granted. Yes. Oh, I hope A doesn't decide they need her in Japan. YOU need her.

    Elisabeth- I think you are right.

    Jill- Thank YOU for reading. Bless.

  15. I bout lost my mind last year over Haiti. And it did no one a bit of good.

    This year I pray. I send love out to those in japan that they get through this and the pain and loss and devastation is tempered by a little hope and a little faith. Faith in whatever gets them thru the night.

    Awful shit happens. We just have to hope to get thru it.

    I'm with pf. The good energy and good thoughts and love of life makes a difference in the universe.


  16. Dear Mary, beautifully put. It's so upsetting to think about. We have to help by sending what we can. You are wonderful xx

  17. Your positive thoughts are a kind of prayer, I believe. Taking care of yourself is a good thing. I know that life can change in an instant, a heartbeat, a tremor. One day at a time is all that I can do--sometimes just a few minutes at a time is okay.

  18. I needed that thought. Thanks.

  19. I have chosen to check the AM news and the PM news for short reports. To get swept into this hour upon hour would make me feel worse and go nowhere. I have to feel faith that the sensationalism of news will give way to the help, and support that is on it's way. This focus of the radiation frightens me here on the west coast but I honestly have to have some faith that it won't get this far to us. That they will get the reactor shut down safely.

  20. I have not been watching the coverage on TV either. It upsets me to no avail. Maybe the point is to do exactly what you are doing and to appreciate what you have before this whole shithouse goes up in flames, as that great sage Jim Morrison once said.

    I love you so!


Tell me, sweeties. Tell me what you think.