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humbled

March 15, 2011
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I was going to post a few days ago: something about the beginning of Lent and a plan to fast from anxiety, but then the earth shifted on its axis and for a while there seemed to be no point in words.

I heard the Japanese ambassador on the radio and he said: ‘We are humbled and awed by the power of nature’, and I wondered when I last heard a leader in the West talk about humility.

I took time to stare in the garden and saw the power of nature that preserves a seedhead through a whole winter of ice and snow, stripping away everything fleshy and leaving a cage of tracery.

Round about that time the frogs returned to our tiny pond for maybe the fourth year in a row and I stopped and forced myself to remember that this adult started life as a tiny speck of black in a blob of jelly.

In England, everything is just bursting out new.

And no one can make sense of any of it, but I learnt here that ‘Japanese culture has long-prized fragility, impermanence, transience’, and that ‘the cherry blossom is the most prized of all expressions of nature because it achieves such a brief perfection before falling carelessly’.

Postscript: If you love books and writing, go here for a genius plan to raise money for Japan.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2011 11:59 pm

    Beautiful post, and equally beautiful photos.

    (And I hope you do eventually post about fasting from anxiety. I hadn’t before considered it, but I surely could benefit from it.)

    • Joanna permalink*
      March 16, 2011 6:36 pm

      Thank you, Christy. And yes, I will post about it, especially now you have encouraged me.

  2. March 16, 2011 2:12 pm

    What a sensitive post.

    I too heard those words when spoken by the Japanese Ambassador, said with such dignity, and have been reflecting on them for the past couple of days. I have been deeply impressed by the same dignity and stoicism with which the Japanese have reacted to the immensity of the destruction and its consequences. In particular I can’t help feeling that it puts some journalists to shame for pandering to what I can only describe as the consumption of grief in their search for sensational expressions of grief.

    There’s a lot for us to learn from all of this.

    • Joanna permalink*
      March 16, 2011 6:39 pm

      I so agree, Colleen. And really – if this situation isn’t sensational enough in itself, you do have to wonder what on earth would be.

      I hope we do learn.

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