Lenten Devotion for March 29, 2023

There is a special place in northeast Japan, in Iwate Prefecture, where a man named Sasaki Itaru created something called the “wind phone”. It’s a telephone box, and inside there is an old black telephone, which is not connected to anything.

Thousands of people travel there to use the phone to speak to those they have lost.

The Wind Phone was set up not far from one of the cities in Japan devastated by a terrible tsunami in 2011.

It’s set in a garden, in a remote area. It is not easy to get there. Once you find the location, there are no signs to guide you to the phone box.

“It’s in the very act of wandering—losing yourself in the landscape, uncertain of where you are and when you’ll arrive—that people end up thinking about many things, reformulating their memories of the person they have lost. And it’s in this mood, a sort of meditation, that they encounter the Wind Phone. They get here in a fuller and more aware state. They are ready.”

“You need to get your own feelings in order before you can talk to someone else. You need to emerge from the tragedy, from the shell of pain you’ve been encased in. Those who come to the Wind Phone are already halfway there. They are ready to create a new relationship with the dead.”

I wonder if that’s one way to think about the work of grief- that we are creating a new relationship with the person who has died.

The quoted paragraphs are from this article:

1 Comment

  1. Ann-Marie says:

    What a beautiful way to offer a unique way to process grief.

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