Thursday, March 31, 2011

Even then...

When I was in 8th Grade my English teacher, Mrs. Gleason, gave me a small volume of poems entitled: "SILENT FLOWERS: A New Collection of Japanese Haiku Poems." I love that little book and its poems. My daughters, born and raised in Japanese schools, claim that haiku "just don't work" in English. But these poems - though perhaps different than the originals - still speak to me. One of my favorites through the years has been this haiku of Issa's:

A world of grief and pain: Flowers bloom; Even then...


I often make a trip to Takayama in Miyagi Prefecture during the spring vacation. These photos were taken by a student friend in April 2008.


The beach there was hard hit by "the tsunami." My friend, who watched from her home high on the cliff, said it was actually 3 incredibly large tsunami - and then the water just kept sloshing for next several days. Many of our friends lost their cars, their homes, their possessions, their businesses.... Yes, there is grief and pain. But as I listen to this friend and others I realize that "flowers bloom; even then!"

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos. Which student friend?
Daughter #3

PS Am still unable to prossess what has happened to Shichigahama. Will miss all the beautiful gardens and rice paddies that were washed away.

Laurie (and John) Elliot said...

Siqin.

Yes. We've spent so many hours walking through all those rice fields and a long the ocean and now all the familiar land marks must be gone...

I think all my beautiful tea dishes must be smashed to smithereens, too. Of course then I think of the Uchimis, the cafe down by the harbor... the whole kit and kaboodle's gone into the drink. What have I got to complain about?! And yet I do want to complain. I do want to cry because I've lost my beautiful dishes - the teapot that you brought me all the way from Connecticut in your suitcase.