A week has passed since the devastation in Japan. Here in the UK where I live today, although people care and give me thoughts and prayers, life just goes on. At college, we are counting down for the biggest show in April. I’m supposed to be super busy, but my mind hasn’t been functioning. Looking at a pile of to do list, I am trying to keep as occupied as possible, which temporarily helps me getting by each day. It has become my routine to check the news as soon as I get back home instead of going to the studio. This lasts almost all evening. I’d better avoid watching the news so long, you may suggest, but I need to know about them, I feel the need, so I continue to look for Japanese news on line, as BBC doesn’t show everything. Each day, things are getting worse. Hundreds of thousands people are now homeless. Not enough food is getting to them. Blackout and severe weather hits many. People are starving and suffering from hypothermia, within the evacuated places and even in the hospitals.
The situation at Fukushima has worsened and gets closer to my parents home. My worries translate into the numbers of phone calls I make to my family. A retired couple not picking up the phone at home. That’s odd. My worries accelerate. Eventually I found out that my mother ended up calling for an emergency paramedic at her friend’s house, as she found her on a floor. My mum was concerned as she didn't answer the phone, so went to her house to see if she was ok. She lives on her own and had mentioned before that she had family in Fukushima. She is now in the hospital. More concerns and fatigues spread out to my mum. I tell her sarcastically that she is strong enough as she could walk for 7 hours, trying to give her a little rest. She laughs for a second, then tells me that they are fine, nothing to worry. We pray for her recovery and the rest of Japan.
Many foreigners are now leaving Japan and people in Tokyo are moving out of the city. Instead, I would rather jump in the airplane now and go to help those who need urgent help. I know this cannot be done, as I just get in a way. Knowing too many people are suffering in Japan, my home country, I feel helpless for not being able to do much, other than praying hard.
On my arrival to work yesterday, I found many white origami lilies on the workshop table. Caring messages from my students and staff for me and Japan. Opening each pieces and finds their bold writings and drawings. I started to cry. I must carry those prayers with me. For Japan. For people who are suffering. I started to think what I could possibly do more. I must use my brain rather than just watching news and feeling sad.
Many artists, musicians and professionals are using their work and skills to collect the donation. Having seen them, I feel little discouraged as I am not certain that I could do enough like them. I don’t even know how to start selling things on line either. There’s too little time to start learning such computer tech what not. Yet opening my studio is limited for people’s attention. After squeezing my little brain, I decided to go for the local. It may be small but better than nothing. I applied for the local Easter fair stall next month to sell my stocks of ceramic and print work for Japanese Earthquake appeal, which all proceeds to go to Japanese Charity.
In order to collect as many casual attentions from the visitors as possible, I have also decided to make 1000 mini birds to sell alongside. I can do them quick enough by Easter and also small enough to be able to post, if anyone interested in contributing on line. Why 1000? The idea came from a Japanese story of 1000 cranes. It may not be going to work, but worth trying. The full recovery of Japan will take a long time, it can take years or even decades. Until those hundreds of thousands people can live under the proper roof, with food and sleep without fear, Japan will continue to need help. 1000 birds may sound silly for someone like me, a small individual, but I believe even little help would make a difference. So I will be continuing to keep this 1000 birds for HELP JAPAN open to anyone who can help via my fair, outlet and hopefully soon in my blog. From tomorrow, I will be starting this as well as preparing for the fair. College work will catch up. I know what my aim is now. I can do this.
It would be grateful if you could share your thoughts on this. For those who are happy to donate, I will post more information as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can go to;
Handmade for Japan - This US site will be doing an on line auction shortly.
Whatever the way you choose to do it and how small it can be, your help is valued for many many people in Japan now and the future.
PLEASE HELP JAPAN xm