Friday, March 25, 2011


"There is no other way that we can survive than we say to each other like a prayer, 'Gambare' — go for it, go for it, be positive, be positive. That's why we say that a lot." 
—36 words from Yoko Kumagai, 59, who is living with her family in a sports hall in Rikuzentakata, Japan, after her house was washed away in the tsunami.

When Melissa at Making Things Up shared this week's topic for Six Word Fridays—"Go"—I had no idea what I would write. This morning, on my way to work, I just happened to catch this story on NPR, about the emotional toll of the tsunami and nuclear crisis on the people of Japan. It was the first time I'd ever heard the word Gambaro—and its variant, Gambare—which, loosely translated, means "Go for it!" Many thanks to Yoko Kumagai, who, in 36 words, gave me another way to look at life, loss and hope.

Listen to the entire NPR story here.

And hop over to Making Things Up to add your own six words!

Friday, March 18, 2011

We Hope

Catastrophe strikes, and We all unite.
We devour the news in horror.
We reach out to each other.
We offer help, comfort and hope.
Being part of We is safe.
We can skim the surface together,
feeling bad, but not really feeling.

To feel means to ask myself:
What if this had happened to me?
What if my home were destroyed?
What if my babies were lost?
What if this danger were mine?
Thoughts I can't bear to consider—
typing them now, I can't breathe.

So I rejoin the safe haven
That We provides—strength in numbers.
(Yes, it's a cowardly cop out,
but I can't move forward otherwise.)
We offer help, comfort and hope.
We hug our babies extra tight,
allowing the questions to remain unanswered.

Many thanks to Melissa at Making Things Up for this special installment of Six Word Fridays. This week's topic is HOPE. For every comment on her post this week, she and her family will make a donation to the relief organization Save the Children. Please write a post, share your own six words, and, if you can, make a donation. Together we can send a message of HOPE.