Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quake + 14 days

After writing the title I began to wonder how long we in Japan will be counting from March 11. Monday morning at 3:30 AM when I drove into town to deliver rice to Shibuya's homeless, I noticed that, except for intersections, all the street lights on Kannana, a main drag, had been turned off. All gas stations were closed and all the 24 hour restaurants were closed. Also many of those "24hr stores" were closed or operating with limited lighting. Walking around the station I found the lighting limited or off all together. Those homeless who meet me had no trouble finding me as they know me by my big white dog. After 17 years I could probably deliver with my eyes shut. Interestingly, the streets were crowded with young people celebrating their graduation ... out all night as is common in Shibuya.

Thursday night was my first venture by train into town since the quake. It is our regular choir practice night and since I am part of a small group doing some special music on Sunday I felt I needed to be there to practice. It would be hard to explain to someone who does not sing, the pure joy of joining one's voice to others in such beautiful music as Shubert's Mass in G or the Miserere from Gregorio Allegri written to the glory of God. I am probably the most grateful of all realizing that many choirs do not accept a woman tenor and for me alto would not be an option.

Travel by train is not as convenient as we are accustomed to. Arriving at the station, the escalators are turned off and lighting is cut to the bare minimum. The train schedules are running on a curtailed schedule but crowding was about as normal, probably because people are not staying out as late due to closed restaurants or long walks. Omotesando, one of the biggest shopping streets and the location of our church was dark with many shops shut early and every other street light turned off. Even the church entry was dark. Yes, there are the hoarders like the man loading six six-packs of 2l. bottles of water into the trunk of his car but for the most part the public is cooperating to save what power they can. When I was a kid, my dad went through the house turning off lights as he went. I have to chuckle as I find myself now doing the same thing.

For this week I took the challenge from Amy's Creative Side One Week One Thing Challenge :: Link Up 7, to assemble the blocks on the batik quilt before all the pins fall out. With more down time I have got it together already but when I spread it out on the park fence I find I am not so happy with the arrangement. I want to add a border as the total size could be a bit larger than the present 80 inches square. That might mean buying fabric as most of my stash is pieces smaller than one meter.

Meanwhile, the magnolias are blooming and some of the camellias look unreal with such a blanket of flowers. It may be cold today but spring is around the corner and music is playing in my brain.

22 comments:

  1. Went into the station today to get lunch. Most shops have lots of things to sell. Fruit and veg shop looked a little thin. At the supermarket they had restocked loads of stuff, but still no toilet paper. The dimmed lighting keeps making me think the store is about to close and I'd better hurry. Glad you get to sing on Sunday.

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  2. Wow those homeless people must be so glad to see you these days. What a wonderful spirit to give to them for 17years. Your batik quilt looks lovely - a ray of sunshine in the difficult days since March 11. Enjoy the flowers, spring will being more than just flowers I am sure.
    Happy stitching and stay well.

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  3. Your batik quilt looks beautiful!
    I am glad to hear the choir practice started again. I can't sing (only very false!) but I can imagine it gives loads of joy, especially in these times. Enjoy spring, the music and the stitching/quilting!

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  4. Your quilt is so lovely, Julie. I am sure going into town is quite dismal. Glad you are able to lift your voice to sing in your choir.
    So happy that you are seeing your flowers. With spring comes hope...hope for new things a new season...new beginnings. I pray for new beginnings for the people of Tokyo. We are all so sad about this and still praying for healing in that place.

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  5. Good morning Julie,
    I used to sing in our church choir and it truly was a joy. Unfortunately, after surgery twice to remove my thyroid gland the voice is gone. If I sing more than one verse I start to cough. :( I love the way you can lose yourself in music though. I have such great admiration for the Japanese people. Their behavior during this crisis has reflected their respect for each other and their innate goodness. There are always one or two people who stretch the limits of good behavior but they aren't to be looked on as typical. I love spring - today it's beautiful here with the flowers blooming even though it got down pretty close to freezing last night! blessings, marlene

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  6. Hi Julie,

    Our thoughts are with you in this trying time. I hope each day gets a little brighter as time goes on...

    Your quilt is lovely, I like how bright it is...just in time for spring! Spring seems to be far off here still, today it was snowing again.

    be safe,
    Sylvia

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  7. Many of my friends left Atsugi, but many opted to stay behind. I pray that all goes well for you. I pray daily for the japanese people. Take care!

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  8. Dear Julie As the news of the quake broke we were setting off to Madeira and I reflected on how a looked for day for us was the same as a catastrophic day for so many. I was without internet access on holiday but could watch the BBC World News and was struck by the order and dignity and stoicism of the Japanese response. You have been in my thoughts and prayers and I'll continue to keep up with your blog and see how you and yours are doing regards Mary (Quayquilter)

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  9. The new becomes the normal very quickly....people are so resilient and life continues on. I'm glad you have some little pieces of your routine to remind you that the world still turns. And what luck that you have the time to finish that beautiful quilt. Take care.

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  10. Julie, you have a lovely blog and a beautiful way with words. I feel touched reading your latest posts. I hope you and your friends are taking good care of yourselves.

    The quilt is gorgeous.

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  11. Your quilt is beautiful; a reflection of your energies/spirit, I'm sure.

    Hazle

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  12. Bless you for all you do for others. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and all in Japan. I think your quilt is beautiful just the way it is :)
    Smiles
    ~Beth

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  13. This quilt is stunning and all the more so because you are still working hard at it despite the destruction near you. Following you now and can't wait to see how your quilt turns out. Lots of prayers and thoughts your way.

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  14. It's lovely how you're helping. I hope things get better soon, my thoughts are with you all in Japan. The quilt is beautiful, the colors are gorgeous.
    Take care,
    Grace

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  15. Thank you for sharing your batik quilt and your words of encouragement. I live in Japan (Okinawa) for three years and have a big place in my heart for Japan. It's hard to see how the news has stopped carrying any real coverage, but your words of hope are great to read! Enjoy your choir as well!

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  16. Your quilt also sings..Thank you for letting us in to the small successes of life trying to get back to normal.. Very nice blog.

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  17. Thanks for your comment, Julie. the pennants/banners are part of a nationally organised project. There are sleeves on the back according to specific instructions so I imagine they will be hung in long rows and distributed. I shall hand mine in at our Festival of Quilts in August well ahead of time. all good thoughts at this time Mary in Canterbury UK

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  18. Dear Julie, I sure do like your beautiful quilt!
    Warm wishes from Dubai !

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  19. Julie, not only is the quilt beautiful, but it is apparent your heart is, too.

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  20. Thank you for sharinig what is going on in Japan now. Your information gives us a better insight to the reality that Japan is dealing with.

    Lovely quilt and once the magnolias start to bloom that is always a good sign for nicer weather. Here in Toronto, we had more snow last night. Sigh.

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  21. Lovely quilt. I'm sorry the cub scouts haven't gotten to have the Pinewood Derby. I know that 'normal' things like that will help them. Our cub scout meeting was canceled (as were soccer practices) 9-11. After a tragedy, the kids really need normal things in their lives to give them some security. Glad you are safe. I'm praying for everyone in Japan.

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