What would it be like to watch a massive tsunami push away everything you’ve known and loved—your home, neighborhood, car, even friends and family members who will never return? Where do you find the courage to start over when you have nothing left?
Sometimes art and poetry show the way.
When I went to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival this spring, I came away feeling overwhelmed by powerful stories of school bullying, opioid addiction in the military, environmental threats, how to start a revolution, and other topics that a young generation of filmmakers did not hesitate to present with brilliant, in-your-face clarity.
By the time The Tsunami and The Cherry Blossom was screened, I was barely able to absorb its sounds and colors. But out of the chaos of all those images, this movie has stayed with me like a quiet beacon.
The documentary by filmmaker Lucy Walker is described as “a stunning visual poem about the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower,” the cherry blossom.
It seems that, just when life seemed most desperate for the survivors in northern Japan, cherry blossom season began. All over the hardest hit areas, pink and white blossoms appeared to create whole and perfect webs of hope. Their stunning beauty helped survivors revive and rebuild their lives.
Isn’t this how coherence helps us thrive through chaos?
When I lived through the 1994 Category 5 hurricane and tornadoes in St. Thomas, the day after was like walking across some kind of tragic alien landscape. So many buildings destroyed; even steel girders twisted and tossed about. Trees lay akimbo.
All the lush tropical foliage had been stripped from its hold on trees and bushes, and whipped into a fetid green slime that coated everything.
But what I remember most is how quickly and insistently nature began to restore itself. Fresh sprouts of green and flowering buds poked up within weeks, even days, creating their own kind of visual poetry.
I remember how those signs of an inherently coherent Nature, even after the storm’s chaos, lifted my heart and gave me hope.
Gail Glanville Is a member of the RPA Hall of Fame and former Managing Director of the Resonance Repatterning Institute. She provides Repatterning sessions by phone and also teaches holistic marketing to practitioners. She is the editor of the Nun Karma Repatterning and author of the Food Repatterning manual.