A few months ago I asked my cyber-mates to join me in an embrace of those affected by a mining disaster on the West Coast of New Zealand. The responses reminded me again of how much generosity of spirit resides in the human heart and how deep our shared humanity runs.
Today I reach out to you again. The beautiful city of Christchurch – rocked by a massive earthquake just five months ago without casualty – has been hit again. This time, as you will all know by now from your own local news footage, the damage has been horrific and lives have been lost.
Christchurch is close to my heart; countless happy times have been spent there, including a period of residence in one of those glorious old homes now reduced to rubble. I am relieved to know my family members are safe, although their houses are uninhabitable.
Please join me again in embracing all those affected by this disaster, including the emergency rescue workers and medicos, everyone. I thank you, I bow deeply.
Right now, we can help by rallying around those who are grieving, supporting those whose livelihoods are in peril.
My message to all Kiwis who want to help is – act on that desire.
No act of kindness is too small.
Right now, you can help by offering support to friends and family who are hurting. Offer them a bed or a roof over their head if that is what they need. Make your donations to help those who have been hit hardest.
As infrastructure recovers, your visits to Christchurch will be welcome.
Above all, throughout this journey, offer those affected your love.
Know that your humanity is more powerful than any act of nature.
~ From this morning’s speech given by Prime Minister John Keys, who has declared a National State of Emergency.
The entire transcript of John Key’s speech can be read here:
Hello beloveds ~
This morning I posted a little thing about “the disappearance of the ‘with’ ” on my echoes from emptiness blog. The context was that she-who-writes had found herself in a very hard place – hobbled and humbled – and forced to face the immediate intimacy of being present WITH now, and this and here. The WITH eventually went awol. An irreversible turn of events which no sane sentient being would invite.
These things have consequences unimaginable to our wee-me imaginations. Without a ‘with’ there is no separation. Zilch. No bunkers to retreat to. No safe haven. No cave with guaranteed fresh air.
And so it came to pass that I happened to be driving down a country road on a sweet summers’ afternoon when a tsunami of grief and tears overwhelmed me to the point that I had to pull over. There was no mental or physical trigger – it was a bolt from the blue. I simply melted into the sensation and took note of the time: 3.00pm.
You may or may not know that in this little country at the bottom of the world a crisis has been playing itself out. Last Friday there was an explosion in a coal mine on the West Coast of the South Island. 29 miners have been trapped in the mine since then and efforts to search for them have been frustrated by volatile conditions within the mine.
This afternoon at 2.45pm a second explosion occurred. It was devastating; no one could have survived its fury. The 29 miners – if still alive at that point – expired. This body here, the one that at that time was driving along a country road in the North Island, the one that now faces the keyboard and outpours her heart to you, this body knew.
That is what happens when the ‘with’ disappears.
Why do I share this? Because I sense that if we could – even a handful of us – shed the ‘with’ that goes with separation, if we could do that, really feel that, then our hearts would be able to embrace and comfort those who tonight agonize with the pain of loss. We’d be able to touch the wives and parents and siblings and lovers and children, the colleagues and mates of these men at a level unattainable by any other means. I know that they would feel it, as I felt the moment when their dearests expired. Please join me.