Amazing Connections – What This Project Has Meant To Me
( by Nanci Caron, Napa, California July 28, 2011)
After Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, people all over the world connected through emails, fundraisers, personal and group endeavors – of all kinds – to contribute to the healing and recovery of the Japanese people. On March 19, I received an email from a friend here in Napa with Anne Thomas’ Letter to Sendai attached. I marveled at the mindfulness, resilience, and compassion of the writer. Deeply moved, I immediately forwarded it to my best friend of 30 years, Deb Buckler. Anne’s interpretation of the devastation and subsequent recovery efforts made a huge impression on Deb, too. Little did we know at that time, we would later call upon Anne herself, with a request for help in Deb’s newly formed 500 Frog project!
After the 500 Frog project took off, Deb and I pondered on who would distribute the frogs. It was important to us that the distributor have a deep understanding of the significance of the heartfelt contribution of the ALL the artists… the amateurs, the professionals, children and adults. Along with pursuing several other contacts, we decided we would try to find Anne, to ask HER personally. Establishing contact with Anne was easier said than done! Beginning on March 30, I made many calls and sent emails repeatedly to Ode Magazine, where she publishes an online blog. Finally – several weeks later – a breakthrough! A manager at Ode agreed to forward my prepared email to Anne. On June 9, I received a response from Anne, who teaches English at a university in Japan. She was unsure about being able to help at that time, since she did not have personal contact with groups of children affected by the disaster. We continued to write to each other, however, establishing an online friendship. Then miraculously in July, Anne told me about a perfect opportunity and a willing event organizer; Ms. Mika Togashi, with whom she could distribute the frogs! Viva the spirit of perseverance!
I am profoundly grateful for Anne’s willingness to help Mika distribute the frogs on August 20 during the children’s festival in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. I am also grateful for the new and ongoing connections made through this project. They include, but are not limited to: my patients, relatives, friends, and new acquaintances – both online, and in person. A special connection was made with a colleague I barely knew at work, Natsuko Fugii, who generously translated our Napa letters from English to Japanese! The connections range from professional and therapeutic, to friendly, and even inspirational.
What an amazing journey this project has been so far! I encourage others to look beyond the predictable and risk taking the creative, and yes, even the “improbable” roads to making new and meaningful connections in our lives. Great blessings can come from such efforts. A big thank you to ALL the artists and supporters of this project – each and every one of you! We are all connected now, through this project of caring and hope!
Napa, California July 28, 2011
Click to see Anne’s Blog