Compassion hurts.  When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything.  And you cannot turn away.  Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others.  You must either learn to carry the universe or be crushed by it.  You must grow strong enough to love the world, yet empty enough to sit down at the same table with its worst horrors. – Andrew Boyd

I received this letter from a beautiful soul friend, Nesrin Aydin.  This story about her beloved country of Turkey was sparked by the earthquakes in Nepal.  What a gift from her to give us a glimpse of her tender, compassionate, and connected heart.

“Thank you Sarah for initiating and sharing a way that we can contribute to Nepal. My heart and prayers go to the people who are affected and suffering from the consequences of the earthquake.

Unfortunately, I know exactly what they are going through right now since my hometown had lived through a 7.9 earthquake in 1999, which resulted in close to 30 thousand people dying. It is one of the most tragic things that could happen to a nation! The people of Nepal need help right now, and they will need help later to rebuild it again, hopefully in a safer way. I’m so sorry, and I hope your friends are okay.

Sarah, the earthquake happened 2 days after our wedding day and the morning we left to come to the U.S. for the first time. I had no clue that my hometown was hit. Those were the worst days, weeks, months of my life!

Here is a beautiful poem, Silent Ship (Sessiz Gemi), by Yahya Kemal Beyatli, which is about leaving this world.  The translation is not as good as the original but close.

If it is the time for weighing anchor from time

A ship going to unknown takes off from this harbor

It moves with silence as it has no passengers

No handkerchief neither arms are waved in this take off

The ones staying on harbor are sad about this journey

For days they look to the dark horizon, with their eyes wet

Desperate hearts! This is not the last ship that goes

It’s not the last sorrow of the painful life neither

In World, the lover and loved one are waits in vain

They don’t know that the darlings who gone won’t return

All the ones that gone should be happy about where they went that

Many years passed, no one returned from that journey

The picture above is a picture my brother took that I love.  It is a picture of the memorial to the Earthquake victims. The epicenter of the earthquake was that same sea.”

-Nesrin Aydin


The opening quote comes from Connected:  101 Ways To Be of Service and Create Community, a brilliant book by our dear friend & impassioned community-builder, Andrea Constantine.  Check out last week’s post by Andrea.