Like everyone else with access to the news, we awoke on Friday morning to a world changed. The tiny island on the other side of the globe — an island that in many ways mirrors our own — was experiencing a tragedy on an almost incomprehensible scale. As we drove down the Motorway late Friday afternoon on our way to the conference, we decided to allow ourselves to be consumed by the magical moments awaiting us in Glastonbury. We did not want the disaster in Japan to overshadow a happy occasion, as we believe in living life to the fullest, while we have one.
We had a fantastic weekend with old friends and new, meeting authors and artists and collectors and generally imbibing too much booze (and food — those kebabs!). As far as we were concerned, the event was a huge success and we had a fabulous time. We arrived back home on Monday evening, tired in the best of ways, and very much aware that those things we’d deliberately forgotten were still out there, worsening at every turn.
Last night as we cooked our evening meal, we contemplated our good fortune. Here in our warm kitchen we shared a hot meal, clean water and a bottle of wine. Our walls are intact, the cupboards are full and we can pinpoint on a map the location of those we love best. We felt, as many do, helpless in the face of this horror, and entirely grateful that we had been spared. On any given day, ‘the world is full of weeping’. At any given moment, someone out there is suffering, some government is murdering its own people, some horror is unfolding — whether reported on the news or not. What is happening in Japan, however, is far beyond the pale.
The dead are dead. It is to the living that we turn our prayers, and contemplate the various ways we can help. Authors from both of our presses, Hadean and Papaveria Press, are writing in to donate all royalties from the sales of their books to the charity of their choice. Hadean and Papaveria will match these donations and more. Our charities of choice are the British Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders. You can also find links to both of these organisations in the left sidebar of our website, under the heading ‘Prayers for the East’.
Life for us now returns to normal. The conference is over, the books won’t get bound on their own and the emails are flowing in faster than we can answer them. And yet as I look around at the laundry to be done, the dishes to be washed, and the inventory to be counted, I can’t help but wonder what can possibly be normal now.
For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand
For the world is more full of weeping
Than you can understand.
from The Stolen Child, by W.B. Yeats