With the recent events in Japan, it is clear to see that we humans are not as powerful as we think we are and that nature has far more hold over us than we care to think about.
I returned to the UK a week ago and missed the erthquake by a few days. Some people have told me how lucky I am but I feel the opposite, guilty for not being there to help the people I care about clean up and cope with the aftermath. Power cuts, food shortages and the threat of the unknown. These things put Bonsai into perspective and show how unimportant it is, yet at the same time how very important it is to protect.
From Bonsai we can learn many things about life and death, the eternal struggle between the two and how relentless it is. I has an email from a Japanese friend who told me how happy she was to see new shoots forming on a tiny maple seedling she recieved from the Chief. Looking at that gave her power and hope. Despite all the death and destruction that has taken place in the North East of Japan, despite the panic and uncertainty of Tokyo, despite her powerlessness...nature still continues regardless.
Many people have emailed me asking after the Chief and other Bonsai people. As far as I know the worst affected is the young Bonsai artist Isao Omachi, who was from that coast line. He and his family are safe but his life and work have been totally destroyed. Marco Invernizzi who is a close friend of Omachi's is setting up a relief fund, you can find details on facebook. I will post more details here when I speak with Marco. Thank you all for your concern and thoughts. At times like this, friends and genuinely good hearted peopl become apparent.
Shunkaen and the Chief escaped relatively lightly. The stone laterns fell over, a few bonsai damaged, a few pots broken but nothing of note. Everybody is shaken but unhurt. Morimae is in a similar situation, everyone is ok and there is some superficial damage.
It will be a long time before the full extent of the damage become aparent and what this means for us humans...however, life goes on relentlessly. This is the nature of the universe. More details as I know them.