earthquake

Inky Reflections of a Shaken Week

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Reservoir Love Tremblor, Nishi Kasai, Tokyo

 

 

The earth refused to hold steady this week.  For the first time in many months if not more than a year our cellphones went off warning of an imminent earthquake.  The first large one struck the island of Miyakejima about 180 kilometers south west of Tokyo.  In fact it’s jurisdiction still falls under the government of Tokyo.   By the time the seismic waves reached us the only sensation I felt was a bit of rolling in my home.

Other shakers followed throughout the week with large ones in the Fukushima area, a 7.0 off the coast of the most norther part of Hokkaido, and one just last night on the tip of Chiba prefecture in Choshi.  Way to close for comfort.

On top of all the shaking we have all the turmoil in Boston.  Reading though the comments on some of the news websites, reflect such hatred.  Where my physically body has been rocked by the constant movement of the earth, my soul was feeling the weight of unfolding events.

Now, it is Shabbat.  It is a time to rest the physical and the spiritual.  It is the time that has been given to us to recoup the spirit.  A chance to shake off the troubles and reinvest in our faith.  Our spirits our tried on a daily basis, use the time we have been given to reflect upon the week, and give thanks that we are still here.

shabbat shalom to all

 

Miami Loves Japan Too, First Anniversary of Japan’s Earthquake Tsunami

Monday, March 12th, 2012

March 11, 2012, Love from Miami to Japan

It has been one year sine the March 11th triple disasters of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown.  So many lives have, including my own, have forever been changed.

I could tell you those changes point by point in all of the technical details, but I won’t.  I much rather put some sound-image-power energies into the world.  For many of Japan’s inhabitants the emotions of March 11, 2011 haven’t settled.

I invite all of lucid communication to give thanks for each moment we allowed to spend in connection with the world and more importantly our loved ones.  These precious moments with loved ones should be reflected upon.

My heart goes out to my very extended Japanese community.  The land where I lay my head to rest.  The land that I walk. The inspiration for my photography.

Miami Loves Japan Too !

 

The Season’s Wheel is Spinning

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

This just in!  After much anxiety in my own mind I was pleasantly surprised to come across some of my first true autumn leaves today.  There is a lovely old buddhist temple in Konodai Chiba that is home to a very old weeping cherry blossom tree.  In the spring time it is a favorite spot for photographers and families come and take in the splendor of the waterfall of cherry blossoms.  Now we fast forward from spring to autumn and the same beautiful tree is starting to express itself with a display of earthen oranges and reds.

I was so elated to see the cherry blossom tree teasing me with bringing forth such beautiful colors.  The location of this magnificent tree must have been protected from the punishing typhoon winds of two weeks ago.  In reality, only one part of the tree has started to change its colors.  I look forward next week to see the colors engulf the tree in fiery reds.

I thought back to the unnerving anxiety when I last enjoyed the tree in April.  It was only a few weeks after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami disaster.  Most Tokyo dwellers were quietly observing the cherry blossom. So many Japanese had lost their lives just a few weeks before.  Most people felt it was too soon to celebrate.  However, my feeling was somewhere in the middle.  My heart felt that we needed to mourn those lost, and at the same time we needed to come together as a community and use the beauty of the changing seasons to focus our energies.  We needed to lend a helping hand to each other.  We needed to sit under a tree with our friends and family and engage in some heartfelt communication.

Where are we as a community now?  Has Japan come together to lend those helping hands to each other?  Have those conversations that started in spring continued into autumn?  I do not have the answers to these questions.  I can only offer up my hope and appreciation of the Japanese people to come together and change their country for the better.  I am just a humble outsider who loves his adoptive home.

Let the changing of seasons remind us of those that lost their lives.  Those brave souls that risked their lives to help others.  If we haven’t renewed our own personal commitment to leading a fruitful life it past time to begin.

Take stock in our surroundings.  Notice that leaf that yesterday was green yet today it has begun to shift into red.  Say hello to your neighbors.  Smile at the children on the train.  If we don’t the world will just spin on by.

Ruffled Cherry Blossom Autumn Leaf

Holy Cherry Blossom Autumn Leaf

Earth Trembles, Flowers Still Bloom

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

At a little past 10 this morning we were all reminded that the earth has not settled.  The shaking was not that intense, but it shook our home for a good 30 plus seconds.  The shockwaves were of the 7.1 aftershock were felt all over Japan.

These aftershocks are always disturbing.  Just when it seems there is a bit of normalcy another large shaking jolts myself into the reality that one just never knows what will happen.  I have to have faith that I will be protected in that I hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

While the earth is still unsettled the flowers still keep on blooming.  The world keeps on spinning on it’s axis.

Have faith in your travels.

Be safe my fellow wanderers.

Marigolds. Ladybugs Friend

Bokeh in the Afternoon

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

After quite a number of small aftershocks last night, I was ready to have a peaceful day.  The weather was gorgeous at least.  I could rock a short sleeve shirt and be totally comfortable.

There was, as far as I could tell, only one smallish aftershock that happened between 9 and 10 a.m.  I was the only one who noticed that the ground was moving and the lights were swaying.  I guess my internal sense of balance is just ultra sensitive to the movement.  I don’t think I will ever get use to them, but I will, hopefully, learn to live with the aftershocks in some sort of harmony.

The walk back though my neighborhood was exceptionally pleasant today.  The air was cool and dry as the sun was quickly dropping to the horizon.  I could take pleasure in watching the light change its hues as it continued to race towards other worlds.  It was a great day, to look closely and let the bokeh (that beauty of having part of an image out of focus) come out and play.

False Yellow

Into the White Buds

Homemade Matzoh: Stranger in a Strange Land

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

As people all over the world ready and prepare to observe the feast of passover I decided that I would make matzoh from scratch for the first time.  Sometimes I truly am a stranger in a strange land, and I remember that my people were also strangers in a strange land.

With the earth continuing to shake, it has become even more important to me that I observe passover to the absolute best of my ability this year.  The desire to make some homemade matozh grew out of my own identity as a Jew of the tribe of Judah.

As the mixed multitude left Egypt under the leadership of Moses, I too wanted to remember those days, and to be a reminded of the many though out the world who are still in bondage.  Whether the bondage is physical or mental, I pray that all my brothers and sisters throughout the world too can taste real freedom.  And for those of us who are free, let us eat the matzoh, the bitter herbs and the roast lamb as a reminder to all the sacrifices that have been made, and the sacrifices to be made.

I wish all out there from the bottom of my heart a beautiful passover.  I also pray that all by brothers and sisters throughout the world that wish to be in Jerusalem may you be able to make the journey.

פסח שמח

Chag Pesach Same’ach

Homemade Matzoh 01

Homemade Matzoh 02

Aftershocks, Phantom Earthquake Syndrome and a Reminder

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Today I was reminded how alive the earth is in Japan.  The earth has been shaking with many aftershocks since 5pm yesterday.  I had a terrible sleep.  I awoke pretty much every time the earth moved.  There has been so much shaking that I am now suffering from Phantom Earthquake Syndrome.  I feel movement even when there isn’t any.

I was also reminded today that we have many brothers and sisters in the Tohoku region who are in danger with even more horrendous aftershocks,and not being provided with clear information from both TEPCO and the Japanese government.  I was clued in to remembering this as a scientist in the Tohoku region left a comment on my blog.

There is still much work to be done.  The sometimes wishy washiness of the decision making process here in Japan, can move at a snails pace.  My heart truly goes out to the people of the hardest hit areas.  As my wife likes to remind me here we have inconveniences but the people up north in Fukushima and Sendai have a mind boggling disaster to deal with.

My family went though hurricane Andrew in 1992 which the scale was terrible, but the loss of life was low, because people could be warned and were able to prepare.  Here in Japan, there was little to no time.

As I was walking home today, I noticed some more of the starflowers growing among the weeds at a construction site.  I was amazed at how those little guys could thrive on what looked like to me just concrete and dirt.  It was the flip side of everything else I experienced today.  It was again the reminder that spring has sprung.

So I ask of my family friends, and anyone else who comes across this blog.  Remember those people from Fukushima, Sendai, and the Tohoku region.  Keep them in your prayers and hearts.

Spring Star in between a Rock and a Wall

Tokyo Harmony and Hope

Monday, April 11th, 2011

There is a beautiful park in my neighborhood.  There are cherry blossom trees, a manmade hill that children slide down of pieces of cardboard, jungle gyms to climb on.  It really is a nice park.  But there is a little secret about the park.  The only reason that there is a park there is because of the huge power lines that are running over the park.

So rather than run from the power, and the man made I have decided to embrace the harmony.  The blossoms working in harmony with their man made wires.  The seemingly random fractal growth of the branches, intertwined with the straight and designed power lines.

On the one month anniversary of the great Tohoku-Kanto earthquake we were reminded with an aftershock of 7.1 magnitude that the power of the earth has not yet settled.  However, let us look to spring as a reminder that there is beauty outside.  There is manmade and there is the beauty that only the creator can make.  Sometimes the most thrilling of them is when they work in harmony with each other.

Stay safe

Stay blessed

Stay positive

Nature and Manmade in Tokyo Harmony

Spring is the Time for Change

Friday, April 8th, 2011

I have been going through a lot over the last several weeks, as I am sure many of my fellow expats and Japanese have been going through with the after effects of the earthquake, tsunami and the ongoing nuclear situation.  I have been reasoning deeply with myself what is my position in all of this.  What should my reaction as a human and an artist should be?

I have been in this situation shortly after 9/11 in NYC.  My images I was creating were so overwhelmingly negative that it was beginning to make me ill.  But, I knew I had to capture these raw emotions in order to start the healing process within myself.  I find myself in a similar situation now; however, I do have 10 years experience since NYC.

And I have decided that the side that I must show is the positive.  I need to balance those sides in my artistic creations.  There is so much evil in the world, and the media over covers that so much that it makes me sick to my stomach.  I want to, I need to create work that is positive, showing the hope and the beauty in the world.

Spring is springing here.  The passover is coming.  A time to renew my relationship with the creator.  As a jew it is important to renew the self.  I see the flowers blooming.  I see the new recruits in their crisp justly bought suits.  These are the seeds of change that the world needs in a sea of despair.

Seek out the light.  Put your faith in higher places.  Do not let the hype paralyze you from action. Set this spring as a chance to renew yourself, and create the world that we all want to live in.

Much respect to double you from flickr for seeing the change in my images before I even could consciously.

Stop and smell life.

peace and much love from Tokyo, Japan.

Flower Stars, Edging of Hope

Time for a Change, Seasons, Life, the Earth

Pink Beauties and Asphalt, Tokyo

Studying Ability

Windy Strewn Cherry Blossoms

A New Hope with Cherry Blossoms

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

I have been back in Tokyo now for one week.  It has been a bit of a roller coaster since leaving the warm sun drenched suburbs of Miami, for the cold spring of Tokyo.  As the communities in Japan struggle to return to normalcy, I awoke Friday morning in an inexplicable good feeling.  It was as if some worries of mine had been plucked out from my heart.

As rode the darkened Tozai Line I started thinking that we all are in this together.  We all must do what ever we can to help Japan.  For some us that just means, taking care of our families and continuing to work.

I have decided that the best way for me to acclimate to my odd surroundings is to continue to do what I do best.  Use my camera as means of expression.  Trying to show my community and the world the side of Japan that I see.

These cherry blossoms that are starting to unravel their petals are a sign of good things to come.  This not to say that there are not going to be difficulties, but humans are crafty and together we can overcome.

Anticipating More to Come

Blossoms with a Water Tank

Urayasu: Spring, Dust, Liquefaction and Hope

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

I spent three hours yesterday wondering around Shin Urayasu trying to take in what my neighbors across the river from have been going through.  The first thing that I have to say is that although the damage is quite extensive, it can not even be compared to what the people in the Tohoku area have been going through.

As my sneakered feet wandered in between the houses, and apartment complexes that fill the reclaimed land of Urayasu, I couldn’t help but notice that for as much damage that had been done, there was as construction crews all over the city.  The dusty air filed my nose and the rattling of jack hammers hit my eardrums.  I was surprised to see housewives sweeping up dust into white drawstring bags and placing them in front of their homes.

A sign at a local kindergarden gives the people words of encouragement in their times of trouble.  I was warmed to see people working as a community to help get the city back to normal as quickly as possible.

Walking along recently graveled filed sidewalks I would stop and stare at a portion of a wall that had collapsed or to watch a construction crew to repair streets.  The amount of activity was mind boggling.

I have great hope for the future of Japan.  Japan has an opportunity to come together to face the triple disaster and emerge on the other side stronger and connected with each other.  Spring is here.  The flowers are reaching for the sun.  I pray that all the love and cooperation will continue long after all the dust has been cleaned from the streets.

Don't Give Up Urayasu, Urayasu 2011

Sunken Bench in Mihama 3 Chome, Urayasu 2011

Much Work to be Done, Urayasu 2011

The Steps Vanished, Urayasu 2011

Tilting Police Box, Urayasu 2011

Spring Renewal in the Dust, Urayasu 2011

Fallen Leaves and a Solo Broom: a Lament for Japan by John Walford

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

I am pleased to have had a lament for Japan by my friend John Walford.  I will let the image and the poetic words speak for themselves.

Standing Solo

“Fallen Leaves and a Solo Broom”

How time can change the way we see,
Familiar things from another year.
This lone broom, waiting to sweep
Some scattered leaves from yesteryear.

Ivy drooping over a green-stained wall,
The sloping road, and red-paved path,
Waiting in innocence for a passer-by,
To take the broom, and sweep the leaves.

Who could have known, July last year,
It might not be a gentle hand that seized
The broom – nor that the earth would shake,
The sea would roar, sweep all away – but fear.

— A lament for all lost and suffering in Japan,
and a prayer that time would witness the country
return to the graceful beauty of the single broom.
–JW, March 26, 2011, and in admiration of
Jacob Schere’s poetic vision of Japan.

Thanks John for such beautiful thought provoking words.

Originally posted at John Walford’s blog Only Connect on March 26, 2011.

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere