Posts Tagged ‘ Wang Ping ’

Review of Wang Ping’s Ten Thousand Waves | Control Literary Magazine


Review of Wang Ping’s Ten Thousand Waves | Control Literary Magazine.

Wang Ping: Finding Her Own Path | Voice of America

Poet Wang Ping

Wang Ping: Finding Her Own Path.

Kinship of Rivers: The River Realms of Wang Ping: Rolling on the river / The Minnesota Daily

Rolling on the river | – The Minnesota Daily.

Blog This Rock: Poem-of-the-Week: Wang Ping

Blog This Rock: Poem-of-the-Week: Wang Ping.

letter 13 from Anne Thomas in Sendai

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday I went with a former student to volunteer at Imai Sensei’s program for the homeless and evacuees. It had snowed the night before, so it was cold and very windy. But everyone arrived at the park on time. We were there to serve food and hand out clothing. For the homeless this has been an ongoing haven for several years, but for the evacuees it is still something rather new.

Since this program has been going on for a while, the people involved were very organized. Homeless men had been congregating for hours before a small truck arrived filled with supplies. Each man had a special task assigned to him, so the process of unloading the truck, putting down big blue mats, sorting used and donated clothes, and preparing the food tables went surprisingly smoothly. In fact, it ran like clockwork.

That day hot bean curry over white rice was the menu. The grateful homeless men and evacuees, some of them children, lined up and patiently waited their turn to be served. There was no pushing or shoving, no yelling or rudeness. Rather, everyone waited in quiet humility for the warm, filling meal they were about to receive. Then they scattered to available places in the sun, protected from the wind, to enjoy their food. Many went back for seconds and thirds. Continue reading

a second letter from Anne, in Sendai

On March 22, 2011, Anne, an American Buddhist teaching English in Sendai, wrote her second letter.

Dear Family and Friends,

This morning on TV we watched a baby being born. The mother was an evacuee in a shelter, but miraculously had been able to get to a hospital when labor began. It was so joyous to watch this teeny girl emerging into the world and to hear her first loud, healthy wail. The camera shifted from the infant to the smiling face of the nurse and on the rather stunned, but please expression of the father. Life goes on. And everywhere there are efforts to remind us of that reality, even in these times of great disaster and tragedy.

Signs of hope continue to flood in from all sides. Yesterday an 80 year-old woman and her 16 year-old grandson were dug out of the rubble of their home, nine days after the tsumani hit. They had been trapped in their kitchen, so were able to survive on the bit of food they could squeeze out of their refrigerator.

In Kesennuma all the surviving fishermen got together and started planning how to reorganize their livelihood from the sea. They joined with the sellers of the early morning wholesale market. And as a group they began laying the foundation for a new system for the fishing industry in their area.

TV news is very informative with maps, diagrams, scale models of the nuclear site and devastated areas. Experts answer questions and give clear, simple-to-understand explanations. And they make sure to have stories about the survivors and their courageous attitudes and actions for survival.

People in evacuation centers are interviewed each evening. All of them express their gratitude and thanks to those who rescued and are caring for them. Many ask for family members to contact them if they can. And all say that life in the shelters is slowly improving. In one a beautician has figured out a way to wash people’s hair, for example. And in another volunteers put on clown shows to give everyone a good laugh. In some centers everyone is sent elsewhere for a few days so the place can be cleaned and repaired. Much of that work is being done by high school volunteers. Likewise, the army and Red Cross have brought in hundreds of portable toilets, which are very needed.

Last night, too, tankers filled with gasoline arrived in Shiogama, a port just south of Sendai. Once gasoline is available to the average citizen, things will change considerably. But first it will be used for emergency vehicles, of course.

The government has sorted out alternative land routes to get to this area. The main road up the backbone of Honshu Island is in disarray, and the branch roads off of it to the Pacific coast are almost totally gone. So, now people make a huge loop around the western side of the island, going from Tokyo to Niigata on the Japan Sea. Then they swing either up the coast or inland towards Fukushima, Miyagi, and Iwate, the prefectures most strongly hit by the earthquake and tsunami. Transport must go by small, circuitous back roads. But eventually they arrive. Many people are coming up from Tokyo, bringing huge bundles of food, clothing, blankets, and medical supplies for their families. The trip, which in normal circumstances takes about five hours, can take longer than thirteen. But those few extra hours seem irrelevant considering the enormity of need.

It was encouraging to hear that young people have stopped carrying make-up and cheesy photos of each other in their handbags, but rather have water, flashlights, extra batteries, and high-energy snacks. They are devoting their time to helping their families and others in need. “This is a time I must support my family,” they say. “I need to be there for them.”

Before this catastrophe I knew that Japan was a culture of the collective. But I had not deeply comprehended what that meant. I used to accept, but wonder about students having club activities that took up almost all of their free time, including before and after school, weekends and holidays, and even cutting into study time. But when I see them now, able to work together in obedient unity, I can see how everything in this culture fits together. Somehow having students appear in uniform, all working together, seems to give a sense of stability. It is like strong steel pillars holding up a house. Civil servants are also all wearing blue or beige workmen uniforms. At this time of crisis everyone is equal; everyone is doing their level best to hold this country together and to move it forward.

There are still enormous problems. Children looking for parents, people living in cars or trucks, not enough food or medicines, thousands still unaccounted for, tens of thousands in shelters. Rows and rows of dead waiting to be blessed and buried. But the careful, panic-free, step-by-step work towards recovery is happening and will continue to do so, I am sure, for many, many more years to come.




Kinship of Rivers

Kinship of Rivers

a letter from an American Buddhist teaching English in Sendai

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.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in their home, they put out a sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and buckets.

It’s utterly amazingly that where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines. People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake strikes. People keep saying, “Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days when everyone helped one another.”

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun. People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars. No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The mountains around Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on, and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom, but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking, rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better off than others. Last night my friend’s husband came in from the country, bringing food and water. Blessed again.

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,

With Love in return, to you all,


This vital note has passed through the hands of several friends the world over  and stopped by here, from the writer, Wang Ping, who made it available today. With gratitude, ~ yours truly, df