Saturday, January 7, 2012

An Imperfect Offering

After 5 hours of travelling, here I am, back to the city of Ofunato.  Only this time there are no ditches to be dug nor walls to be knocked down.  I walked on the street where our base used to be.  It seemed awfully quiet and empty.  The Yoda figure in the t-shirt shop’s window is no longer holding the All Hands poster.  The big blue handprint sign of All Hands Volunteer is now buried under a layer of white paint.  No hands, only the same hue of blue and white is only trace that the busy traffic of volunteers had once constantly flooded in and out of the shop’s gate.  I took one last look of the empty street, and turned into the small street toward Mr Asano’s house, who has kindly offered me an empty apartment to stay at during my time here.
        In between pints of beer and exchange of updates, Yu-san told me after the project was finished and the volunteers left, he felt such a huge, indescribable emptiness grew within that at times, he would wander to the places where the volunteers had worked at.  Sometimes, he walked along the ditches that we had cleared; Sometimes, he sat in the Midori Park by himself. Yu’s eyes were misty as he told me, and added, “Sometimes, my eyes would become teary when I looked at the messages you guys have signed on the benches.”
        My eyes became teary too, as I listened to Yu.  All of us who have been here are inevitably bonded to the people of this land more or less in some ways.  We are not of the same blood line, nor do we have the same color of eyes or skin, nor speak in the same tongue.  But only because we allowed ourselves to be here at a time of great need, consciously or unconsciously, an imperfect offering we have made ourselves to be. To the people in need, to the hearts in distraught, even though we, ourselves, are as broken as we are in our own life.      


  1. Thank you for taking us back to Ofunato along with your journey. I wouldn't say I feel like going home as you would...but I do somehow feel like going to a familiar place where you have brought us to in the last few months. Yes, we feel even more remote and imperfect and belittled by the fact that we can offer nothing but only prayer along with your journey across the ocean in another continent. Our only hope and faith is in our almighty God that He alone can bring comfort and aid needed through our imperfect offering.
    Send our regards to the people in Ofunato and Yu-san if you have a chance. Tell them that they are being remembered by a little family in Canada in the New Year 2012.
    And thank you again for taking us along in your journey.

  2. I thank you so much for your hearty thoughts for us. And thank you very much you've spent time with us for a long time. How can I say thank you enough? I don't believe 2 ys and 3 months have passed since the terrible disaster happened in my life but we have to keep moving forward from now on!
    Please please come to visit us again someday.Thank you again.