energy is Love…for Japan

Laura Gaffke, "energy is Love" mixed media painting 5 x 7 inches

I was teaching at the Holderness School in NH for their Artward Bound program when the tsunami hit Japan. Everything about that moment felt surreal to me. I was staying at a faculty members apartment whom I had never met, rooming with her two delightful kitties named “Black cat” & “White cat,” schlepping around in the snow, then mud, then snow again (it’s true what they say about New England~”if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute”), active in juicy conversation, new friends and the “Holderness Culture.” Due to my busy schedule I don’t think I turned on the TV once while I was there and was rarely online. I felt like I was in my own little bubble, oblivious to the “outside world.”  When I finally saw the images of the tsunami on my computer I could not believe my eyes! Even still, I felt like I had little time to process what I was seeing while I was there.

Now that I am home I have allowed myself to let it sink in, feeling such empathy and love for all of those people, each with their own personal story. Initially I felt helpless, wishing I could be there to help in some way or had an abundance of money I could send to help with their recovery. Since that is is not my reality right now I began to think of what I could do. Inspired by a post written by Marisa of Creative Thursday I began to think about how I too have always believed in the power of putting love and goodness into the world so decided I too would create a painting with this intention.

The painting above is called, energy is love and will be for sale in our Etsy shop. I will be donating 50% of the sale of this painting to the Red Cross in support of Japan and will soon have giclee prints available. Five dollars from each print will be offered as a donation in addition.

While at Holderness I was able to witness the most AMAZING poetry from the students who were taking Kahlil Almustafa’s workshop. I will leave you with a little glimmer of hope and love written by Kangdi Wang. Thank you Kangdi for allowing me to share your moving poem here. It went straight to my heart as I am sure it will yours as well. ~Laura


The world was dark.

The earth was shaking.

The buildings were collapsing.

The bodies were cold.

The water was filling the space.


A person stood up.

A bunch of people stood up.

They held their hands together.

Shoulder next to shoulder.

As a wall in front of the water.


People fell, fell over, fell down, fell off.

However, none fell back.

And none fell behind.

The more fell, the more rose.

Billions of people, unite as one.


A lot of things are going on, fire, water, shaking earth, living volcanoes and strong winds. What an Ending.

Comparing to these, humans are tiny.

Like ants fighting elephants.

But sometimes the giants aren’t the main characters.

They are the background props of the tines.


This is a tragedy, a real tragedy.

But every scene is touching, is warm.

The audience is moved, stand up.

The staff is touched, walk to the front-stage.

However, there is no clapping.


There is no more politics or social levels.

Not even laws.

Everything is simple in front of the law of nature.




Up until now, my story is almost finished.

The earth is shaking.

The buildings are collapsing.

The water is flowing.

But still, someone is standing.

Laura Gaffke
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3 thoughts on “energy is Love…for Japan

  1. Thanks for sharing this poem, Laura. A very powerful poem, and the last line is a reminder of the resilience nature of human beings.

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