Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Pete and I caught the 4:30 afternoon ferry and drove to Seattle to be with the city: picnicking and sitting with families who want to hope for a world without war, and without another Hiroshima explosion. We got to Greenlake, the popular Seattle park where the Northwesterners love to come, especially in the summer but really, they love it year round. The inviting temperatures had girls in bikinis and buffed bodies of all colors strutting their stuff. Families pitched covers to stay for the day. We spread a blanket on the ground not far from the stage set-up for the evenings gathering, and stretched out. Babies in diapers were bounced in time to the music of the Quichua Mashis, music of the Andes. Dogs barked at each other, children ran and played, a couple tables of information were set up. I picked up one piece of literature a comic book written by a survior of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. "I SAW IT The Atomic bombing of Hiroshima .. a survivor's true story" by Keiji Nakazawa. I'm not sure I can read the story, but I took it.

Twelve years ago I visited Hiroshima on August 6th and carried a 1,000 cranes to add to the many other thousands cranes. It changed my life, I've not forgotten. I remember the many floating lanterns in the river in Hiroshima. Since then Pete and I have been to other O Bon Celebrations, and watched the lanterns for the dead floating in the bay in Waialua on the north shore of O'ahu. Last night, we were in the city to be reminded on what humankind is capable of ... the grand and glorious, and the cataclysmic horror that comes from imagining something into being. I chose the calligraphy that stroked the black lines of ink into the word DREAM. It starts there where anything is possible. What comes from the dream to take on 'flesh' is choice and application of will.

Last night thousands came to carry and float a lit candle. The ceremony "Toro Nagashi" the lantern floating ceremony is performed annually.  Here is how it is described from the program given to us last night:

The Meaning of the Toro Nagashi

The lantern floating ceremony performed annually at this event is an adaptation of an ancient Japanese Buddist ritual, the Toro Nagashi, in which lanterns representing the souls of the dead are floated out to sea and prayers are offered that the souls may rest in peace. The ceremony is reenacted each year at this time, in Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and in many cities throughout the world, in remembrance of the victims of the atomic bombings. In Seattle, the lanterns have come to represent not only those victims but also those who have died in violent conflict anywhere, and have become symbols of our individual commitment to making a more peaceful world ..."

Thanks for the heads-up JT.


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