Yesterday we had a peace walk ceremony at the pagoda. .
Tonight I could not sleep. My leg is aching and heavy and I have too much on my mind. I will try again soon, but I wrote this, Goodnight.
“Dr. Kearfott, a nuclear physics Professor at the University of Michigan has stated that,
’The radiation levels in parts I visited with my students were higher
than those in evacuated zones around Fukushima nuclear disaster.’
How is it that the entire world has heard of Fukushima, but many people right here in North America have no idea what is going on in Rapid City, South Dakota?
Riley Pass Mine is approximately 40 miles away from Mount Rushmore.
These “faces of democracy” bring about 3 million tourists a year to South Dakota where the home population is roughly 800,000 people.
These tourists bring money into the state.
It is highly unlikely that 3 million people a year would continue to visit South Dakota if they knew that when they stayed on their patriotic family vacations they were drinking radioactive water, eating radioactive burgers, and breathing in uranium dust.
The elected officials of South Dakota are well aware of this, and have no interest in making this information public knowledge.
The radiation from these mines is everywhere.
It is in our air, our water, our food and our land.
It is accumulating in our bodies and permanently altering our human DNA chain.
It has caused the people of the northern plains to have the highest cancer rates in the country.”
From, Walk for the People | Walk for the Earth - Say no to Uranium Mining
2:37am (Monday Morning)
He said, “There’s a possibility that we will get married someday =).”
To which I replied…among other things, “You’re not revolutionary enough for me.”
Typing up journal number 3, found this excellent moment.
In which I share in far too much detail what I’ve been doing for the last 30 days or so.
DSC03070 on Flickr.
Closing ceremony at the Leverett Peace Pagoda.
Sister Clare hit the drum for a while and led the group in some “Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo”ing before offering incense and a discussion about the walk and Nagasaki.
“If we want to see change, we all need to be able to give something up. We need to look at the amount of energy we use. The amount of electricity we waste….”
We got back down to the dojo and had a potluck.
Tim had gotten an email
and announced that there has been a freeze put on the re-licensing of all nuclear reactors in the U.S.
During dessert I performed my “Revolutionary Anthem”
Later Tim called me,
and asked if I wanted to record.
The walkers dispersed but will come together again Sunday for the Peace Tree ceremony, and tomorrow at Grafton for their Hiroshima Day/End of Walk ceremony.
If you’re around, come meet the walkers.
DSC02864 on Flickr.
The Hungry Ghost
Wednesday the walk stopped for snacks and water at the Hungry Ghost in Northampton. Jonathan and Cheryl welcomed us and graciously answered all of our questions about their beautiful bakery.
It is a family business and is maintained by the two of them, and two of their daughters.
After freshly baked bread and apple cider we followed Jonathan around for a while watching him bake.
Eventually people started to head back outside to prepare for the rest of our walk.
I told Jonathan I had seen him at the Pagoda several times and asked if he had been to culinary school.
“It’s kind of like classically trained musicians who switch to Jazz,” he began. “Sometimes the best way to do something isn’t really the school, it’s just.. to do it. Have any of the writing schools produced the great American novel? No.”
One of the walkers came in and told me it was time to go.
I thanked Jonathan for hosting us and said, “Don’t worry. I’m working on the next great American novel.”
He said he looked forward to reading it
and we continued on our way.
DSC02796 on Flickr.
We stopped for lunch in the parking lot of a convenience store that was at our 6 mile mark.
I was driving support and I drove ahead with Fritzy.
Tim told us to stop at the convenience store for our lunch spot.
We pulled over and set up two small blankets and food in two parking lot spaces in the back near the clothing donation box.
I wasn’t sure if we were going to get kicked out or if we’d be able to stay.
A few minutes later the walk caught up with us and a few people went inside to use the bathroom.
Someone came out and said, “The owner is from Pakistan.”
I went inside and found Yusuf talking to the owner, Sajid.
I asked him how long he’d been working there, and told him a little bit about the walk.
He let us take water for tea and I asked him if I could get everyone in for a picture with him for the walk blog. He agreed.
Salaam aleikum, Sajid.
Thanks for your kindness & hospitality!
06 August 2012
AS we were finishing our Hiroshima Day ceremony we heard this deafening roaring in the sky.
I looked up and saw two fighter jets.
I found out later that the town, Westfield, is host to a National Guard Air Base.
I can’t imagine living in the town near those monsters.
Or living in a place where that sound might be the last thing I ever heard.
They do not own the sky.
Last night we left NY for home.
We left Brooklyn at 7:30 and by 10pm realized we were not in MA but Long Island. We stopped for cigarettes and directions at a small gas station. The cashier looked at Yusuf for about two seconds and then said, “Where are you from, Turkey?” He told us that the gas station next door was run by Turkish people so we went over to get a second set of directions and see if the men were from Giresun.
They were really friendly and the clerk had gone to school in Albany so he wrote down perfect directions from Long Island to MA.
We ended up at Yilmaz house at 3:15 am which was just in time to eat before everyone went back to sleep before the fast.
So I’ve realized that in my haste to get up some stories and pictures from the last few days I haven’t really done any of them justice. Tomorrow we have the day free before the walk starts so I’ll go back and write real… detailed… things.
peace and g’nite.
My gran’s in the US for a while because she needs a surgery to remove her cataracts so Yusuf and I went to Brooklyn with my Dad to visit her for a few days.
We got a late start leaving, but still made time to stop at Mama’s Pizza in East Hartford to visit Abe.
(Everytime I wear this shirt people get really weird and confused. At the gas station in Hartford someone came up to me and asked, “Are you Russian?”. I sort of smiled and said, “Communism’s not just for Russia”, and then walked away quickly.
We got to my Uncle’s house at around 9pm.