Saturday, April 09, 2011

Planting Seeds

I wonder why it is that some articles, we may read them, and then, forget them, while others are so haunting, we become obssessed with them? Case in point:
I read an article moments ago, regarding the radiation in the soil, which Japan has measured, which indicates they cannot plant rice...rice!....the main-stay of their entire way of life, unable to be planted....The article detailed the reactions to yesterday's (3rd in three weeks) earthquake, too.
In another bit of news, I discovered the Oak Ridge Nuclear facility in Tennessee, is not a "peaceful use" of nuclear power for energy, but rather, a NUCLEAR WEAPONS facility--the first in the USA, in nearly four decades.That's right--we are again manufacturing incredibly lethal nuclear weapons. At a time when people are starving, both in Japan, and here at home, we are committing over 7 Billion Dollars to even more Nuclear Weapons.
Below, I've posted the observations from that first article, which I just posted on the "News Feed" on Facebook:
"Matsuko Ito said she screamed when the violent shaking woke her up around 11:30 p.m. She's not sure she can take much more.
"It's enough," the 64-year-old while smoking a cigarette outside the shelter where she has been living in the small northeastern city of Natori. "Something has changed. The world feels strange now. Even the way the clouds move isn't right."

"Even the way the clouds move isn't right." And images of all the clouds we've ever seen, rising over Japan, immediately flash into my mind.
And I think: is this Earthquake(s)/Tsunami/Nuclear disaster, this generation's Hiroshima/Nagasaki?Is it possible that a "Natural Disaster" could trump--in terms of enormity--the man-made(USA-made) atrocity committed on Japan, so many, many years ago?
I remember watching, just a few years ago,with my dear friends and fellow-Pax Christi members, Joe and Mary Jean Goode, a well-known HBO documentary, "White Light/Black Rain" about Japan, and the interviews conducted with educated, professional young people in major cities, Tokyo among them.They were told a month and day and year: August 6th, 1945, and asked what happened on that day.
Not a single young person(all under 25) could say for what that date, was famous. Most guessed it was a celebrity's birthday, or other such nonsense. I remember crying when I realized no one in their younger generation remembers Hiroshima, or Nagasaki(August 9th, 1945), anymore.
I realized no one recalls the bad, the horrific, the shameful.
And it occurred to me just now, that we are, generationally, like the lover who remembers only the good, and none of the bad.We rewrite our histories with the loves of our lives, just as we rewrite our country's histories,our government's moments of rage, hate, racism, and revenge.
It was rage, hate, racism, and notably, revenge, when the government of the United States of America, dropped those bombs on the civilian people of Japan.Innocuously named "Little Boy" (the bomb we dropped on Hiroshima), and "Fat Boy", (the bomb we tossed onto Nagasaki), did we simply decide we had the "right" to murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people instantly, while guaranteeing the deaths of millions, later? The argument is always "we saved more lives, by dropping the bombs."
In what universe does killing to avenge killing, and killing to prevent death, make any kind of sense?
In a recent letter from Mary Jean Goode, when addressing our (USA) involvement in yet more war(this time, Libya)she posited:
"...I recalled Luke’s version of Jesus’ arrival on the outskirts of Jerusalem. According to Luke, Jesus broke down weeping over the world’s refusal to learn “the things that make for peace.” It’s one of the most touching scenes in the Gospels. He has walked over a hundred miles on a campaign of nonviolence from Galilee to Jerusalem, only to arrive at the Mount of Olives, see the famous city, and burst into tears because of its collaboration with the Roman empire in the demonic spirit of war. He could see that its destruction was inevitable."
As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it saying, “If this day you only knew the things that make for peace -- but they are hidden from your eyes.”
(Luke 19:41-42)

Think about this, kids. Really think about it....Jesus spoke of "the things that make for Peace".That he longed for nations at war, to see that they "do not know the things that make for Peace."
I am thinking of Japan, long after the rain of nuclear fall-out which came, day after gray day, in Hiroshima, and Nagasaki.
I think of the pain and suffering a long-ago generation of proud Japanese, suffered.
And I think now of this woman, Matsuko Ito, reviewing the clouds, as they silently float by, and I wonder, when those people of Hiroshima, looked heavenward, hearing a whir, or seeing the flash,just before annihilation, was there any sense of The world feels strange now. Even the way the clouds move isn't right.....
We have the power to change the way we respond to violence, and while we cannot prevent natural disasters, or make the soil in which the Japanese long to plant their grain, safe again, we can all try to nurture the "soil" in our minds.Plant the first seeds of a sweet rice of Peace, now.
Before it's too late.
Peace, kids.


Anonymous said...

Bless you for writing this. I am so distressed about Japan and war and all of it. I feel like crying. It is just so distressing. Your post really, really moved me.

Lisa Allender said...

Selma--May God Bless You, Selma, for always CARING ABOUT THE WORLD...and hey! for caring about me too.And saying so! :D
Headed to You & your blog, "Selma in the City", right now! :D
Word Verification:
sounds verrrry Japanese-y to me. :D

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

really nice post this and lots to think about.

We do tend to talk about "the greater good" - but really what we mean is our own interests.

Lisa Allender said...

Pixies-- hi there how are you? Thank you for the kind comments .
Peace to you, Pixies. :Dmu

Galen Pearl said...

Lovely post. Jesus said the peacemakers are blessed. He never said the warmakers are going to inherit the kingdom. And yet....

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Sometimes I think that peoples relax actions are too easily & quickly played. The human condition can truly be a sad and regretful thing. -J

Lisa Allender said...

Galen--Indeed, exactly!
Harnett-Hargrove(cuz Jayne)--The Human Condition does not have to be a "sad and regretful thing".It can become a joyful and active thing".It is up to each of us, to move our own, individual human "conditions" forward.If we each truly contribute, we all grow. :D
I know you already know that, Cuz. ;D

Susan said...

Beautifully written, Lisa! There is so much sadness over there right now -- and so much more sadness to come, I fear, for future generations (cancers, birth defects).

Angel-Star said...

A Photo Caption:(a poem)
We went strangely into territory smoothed by other's blood,
though we did not know it at the time,
we were making our own flesh dance,
we were photographing our own bones.

In the desert, in the dry rain,
we lit the fuse of Hiroshima on our knees.

Lisa Allender said...

Susan-- thank you. You are correct...this heartbreak is only beginning. :(
Angel Star-- Gorgeous poem. Your words are melting into me as I type this, and thank you for your compassion. :)

Lisa Allender said...

Susan-- thank you. You are correct...this heartbreak is only beginning. :(
Angel Star-- Gorgeous poem. Your words are melting into me as I type this, and thank you for your compassion. :)

nancollard said...

I urge all to read new book of Laura Hillenbrand, "UNBROKEN" the autobiography of an American Hero and Olympic Champion, Louis Zamperini. It took 7yrs to write, published last Nov. Louis just died in May 2011 at the age of 94.He was still speaking about this war and being honored on nat'l programs. I am a profoundly spiritual & compassionate human,{God's Grace} so I understand everyone's deep & sorrowful feelings of war. We often think how much better the world would be, if only women were in control. We would be right. And Now here is where I turn the key. We would be right in the very large majority in percentage of countries & world space...but only by scientific statistical odds. Those being that more men are psychopaths than women. We would only rule the world better by odds. The reason I strongly desire all to read this because it gives us true historical accounts of the entire world war in the fashion of a novel. Its more compelling to most us in this way, but the result is the same, we learn why we had to bomb Japan in such a devastating way, from a devout Christian P.O.W. who forgave his tormentors after the war. Japan wasn't only ruled by a psychopath, but they had kidnapped ALL male youths & brainwashed them in horrible ways to be merciless killers. When we know better, we do better. Each war teaches how to do war better. At the time, the REAL TRUTH is that these psychopaths were not stopping until they had taken over the world. When they bombed Pearl Harbor & headed for our west coast..they had one goal & after all of our ships were destroyed We had NO defense. NONE. The book reminds us all of this, & we can trust it easier because its written by someone who didn't want to be there. I'm a sane,compassionate woman,with a son,so of course I feel the same exact things you all do. Swear. But I get it, now. OFTEN, there is more than one "right". Always more than one perspective. It was a tragic but necessary defense. Sadly, if it weren't for Nuclear Weapons then & now, China would be annihilating as we speak. I wiah it weren't true but it is. We must forever be fighting for peace. Look at our own genicide in America...only 50yrs ago. God Speed!

Lisa Allender said...

Nan--While I will never agree we "had" to nuclear-bomb Japan, I appreciate your POV.Thank you for commenting here.And for "Follow"ing my blog. :)