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Offered to the gods

Offered to the gods

This morning I sang an improvised dirge as we started to burn the broken beams of the house. I don’t think anyone heard it but me, but it was comforting to sing to the house. It was a sad moment for me, and I can only imagine how the Kawasakis felt. They were...
Breaking it down

Breaking it down

This morning, I woke up feeling insecure and my anxiety was turned up to 11. I saw on Facebook that they had been working at 555 yesterday, but I’d missed it. I asked about today’s plan and Fujii-san said he thought they’d be gathering again but he...
Processing

Processing

Processing shock and loss takes many forms. For me, physicality is key. I need to be present in the charred space, exploring at the scene. I bear witness. I feel it intensely.  And then I start to draw or write to release it. I went up to 555 this morning and climbed...

Bad or Good?

A week ago in a meeting, I shared a story to illustrate that business setbacks or successes can be reframed with a single word. Alan Watts delivered the Story of the Chinese Farmer with his usual panache: And here I am, wrapping my head around the events of this...
Fire Investigation

Fire Investigation

We got a call this morning requesting us to go to 555 for questions from the fire investigators. After the quickest of breakfasts, we headed out the door. We ended up spending the majority of the day there. The questions were mainly for me as I was the last person in...
Gone, gone, gone

Gone, gone, gone

555 Hiratsuka burned to the ground today. At about 12:30 this afternoon, an announcement came over the loudspeaker: 大山地区。建物火災。平塚551。 (Oyama area house fire. Hiratsuka 551.) 551 is the old house next to our kominka – the one with the big gate. Oh! But the...