Friday, March 11, 2011

A second

Started this painting in October 2010 - in progress.


Update: https://dellasays.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/authors-for-japan-can-you-help/


Many thanks to Merc for dropping this link in the comments thread. If any authors out there can donate books/writing/critiquing services, here's how.



Got back from the fundraiser for Christchurch last night to a phonecall with a tsunami warning and the news there'd been a massive earthquake in Japan. My heart goes out to everyone there. It hardly feels real, only seems a second since Christchurch, and I've spent the greater portion of today feeling utterly at a loss for what to say: inactive sums me up. It was the second tsunami warning we've had since we moved here in 2007. They scare me. I came here from about as far inland as you can get in the UK - tsunamis were not a phenomenon we were concerned with in our daily lives. To experience one must be unimaginably frightening. Already, the loss Japan has suffered is beyond my comprehension.

I opened blogger to write this post and then couldn't type, so after a brief walk around the house, returned to find the following message typed:

hi i love you mummy

22 comments:

Claire Beynon said...

Dear Rachel
Like you, I feel at a complete loss; there is no way to speak into or out of the scale and incomprehension of what's happening right now. I haven't known what to say, either; when in doubt, just about all we can do is light a candle and be mindful? Take care up there. Love, Claire

Rachel Fox said...

Hard times in so many places.
x

Rachel Fenton said...

Claire - you're right. Thanks and ditto with the sentiments.

T'other Rachel - crazy, isn't it?

Donna Hosie said...

There is just too much tragedy right now.

Kass said...

I'm wondering what you were thinking when you began this painting. The + mark, the square structures, standing on the edge of the world, the burning, the naked angel whose wings seem like a malignant growth - yet the redemptive light which he can only barely stand to face.

I'm also stunned by the earthquake and tsunami. My niece lives in Okinawa, but I heard immediately through Facebook that she was on high ground and was inviting all her friends who were closer to the army base to come to her house.

How vulnerable you must feel.

catdownunder said...

But, in the midst of all that, what a wonderfully precious message!
Have had a frenetically busy day but wanted to check in and see you were okay down there - it is all much too close to home for our Kiwi cousins.

Rachel Fenton said...

Donna - it does seem that way.


Kass - the image just came to me and I had to paint it - beyond that I didn't consciously think or analyse, but I am struck by your interpretation and I thank you for it.

That's a fine thing your niece offered and I'm glad she is safe.


I felt worried last night, definitely - we get "what if..." features in our local paper so there's less the feeling of it'll never happen than this is what we do if it does happen. It's a possibility - but then, anything is a possibility anywhere in the world. Nature is nature. There's no grudge.



Cat - isn't it? Thanks for taking the time - appreciate it.

Thomas Taylor said...

I saw some videos of the tsunami arriving in Japan that i'll never forget. From the air it looked like the tide coming in on a dirty beach, until you notice that the shells and seaweed are actually cars and people's homes.

There's something very poignant in that painting, by the way.

Rachel Fenton said...

Astounding images, Thomas - My daughter was in the surf the other day and there were three meter waves knocking her about - that scared the life out of me. I don't want to imagine anything bigger.

Dominic Rivron said...

Harrowing times. The unfinished painting looks like it's going to be a good one! There's something oddly prescient about it, in the circumstances.

Lori said...

This painting seems quite nightmarish to me, Rachel. It actually reminds me of a recurring nightmare I used to have, where I was walking alone in the world, surrounded by coffins.
The tragedies don't seem to want to end. I don't know what is happening and I feel afraid to think about it, because it looks like we are not safe anywhere.

Leslie Morgan said...

The first time I ever saw your blog, there had been a disaster (I'm sorry I don't remember specifically which one, but not near you) and it was clear to me from your writing that you truly felt the pain of the people affected. It's one of the things that drew me to you.

Being an almost lifelong Californian, I know the ropes about earthquakes large and small, but disasters that include water terrify me.

Have a nice cuppa, Mummy, and gather your thoughts together. <3

Rachel Fenton said...

Dominic - Very.
I nearly didn't post it for that reason. Thanks.


Lori - it seems that way but we have to keep in perspective that such events have always happened - reporting has gotten better, that's all. And, despite how it seems, they are few and far between on a global scale. Your dream sounds interesting. Pople walk with death every day, we all need a place to keep such thoughts. I don't think your dream was a "bad" omen.


Les - that was Haiti, January 2010. Hard to believe it was only a little over a year ago - feels like a few years, doesn't it? How quickly the world moves on. Been a busy year. Lots of change.
I'm scared of the water, too - mostly on account of not having learnt properly to swim. I should go learn and practice, develop bigger shoulders.
Thanks.

And thanks everyone for your kind comments. A little kindness goes a long way.

Gerald (Hyde DP) said...

I read the local blogger reports and I track messages on Facebook from friends who say they are safe but I cannot bear to watch the TV for more than a few minutes. My neighbour's son is with the BBC Philharmonic on a concert tour. Their bus was crossing a bridge when the quake struck but they made it to the concert hall. Now they are on their way back to Tokyo and a flight home.

Rachel Fenton said...

Gerald - gone are the days when we watched news about disaster in far flung places and felt glad to live somewhere else; global communication and travel make us all closer, for good or bad. But I am much the same when it comes to evading news reports. You must be greatly empathetic.

I'm relieved for you that your friends and neighbour's son are safe. And thank you.

Rachel Fenton said...

Gerald - gone are the days when we watched news about disaster in far flung places and felt glad to live somewhere else; global communication and travel make us all closer, for good or bad. But I am much the same when it comes to evading news reports. You must be greatly empathetic.

I'm relieved for you that your friends and neighbour's son are safe. And thank you.

Merc said...

Rachel, thought you and your followers might be interested in this that came via twitter and facebook https://dellasays.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/authors-for-japan-can-you-help/

The last line of your post says it all.

Rachel Fenton said...

Merc, thanks for that link! Not being on twitter or facebook I'd never have seen it otherwise.

patteran said...

I've just re-posted to my FB an extraordinary piece of video shot from a balcony in an unnamed Eastern Japanese city that records the rising, rushing water in the streets directly below. A single account that relates the horror of it all. I'll see if I can find a link to it.

Rachel Fenton said...

Hey Dick - is that the same as on the bbc online? There are various video clips: sips crushed and thrust under motorways with cars driving over...won't ever shake those images from my mind.

Merc said...

Rachel, this just came through on Twitter and Facebook. Haven´t had time to blog it, but it´s a call for submissions from writers, artists, filmakers, musicians, and they´ll be needing editors, proffreaders and people to get the word out - see http://booksthathelp.org/

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks, Merc!