‘The thousand origami cranes were popularized through the story of Sadako Sasaki, a Japanese girl who was two years old when she was exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima during World War II. Sasaki soon developed leukemia and, at age 12 after spending a significant amount of time in a nursing home, began making origami cranes with the goal of making one thousand, inspired by the senbazuru legend. In a popular version of the story as told in the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, she folded only 644 before she became too weak to fold anymore, and died on 25 of October 1955; in her honor, her classmates felt sorry and agreed to complete the rest for her. In an alternate version of the story, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum states that she did complete the 1,000 cranes and continued past that when her wish did not come true. There is a statue of Sadako holding a crane in Hiroshima Peace Park, and every year on Obon day, people leave cranes at the statue in memory of the departed spirits of one’s ancestors.’
paintings by maud lewis (thanks to bb)
• after supper we walked the dog and we watched bill mason’s classic, song of the paddle, in which he and his partner joyce take the kids, becky and paul, on a canoe trip near lake superior. narrated by bill and joyce, she has some of the best lines, including, ‘the ultimate survival of wild places will depend on how well we are able to rediscover a sense of awe for the land, and how successful we are at passing this reverence along to our children.’
At the Orphan Wisdom School, ‘Stephen Jenkinson helps others learn the skills of deep living and making human culture…. Much of Jenkinson’s wisdom draws from the dying. As someone who headed the counselling team of Canada’s largest home-based palliative care program for five years, [Jenkinson says,] “Life does not give life. It’s the end of life that gives life a chance. The world whispers, ‘All that we need of you is that you be human.’ ” ‘[more]
• after supper sue pulled weeds at the gardens, and then we went for a roll/stroll through little lake park. at dusk we watched without gorky, a doc made by his granddaughter that was less about ashile gorky’s art and more about his family.
‘To look forward, to want life, means we have to be willing to look backwards and become more conscious of all those who have hurt us, all that is broken in us and that has brought us inner deaths, hurts that we may have hidden and stifled. It means that we acknowledge the story of our origins, of our own lives, see and accept our brokenness and the times we also have hurt others. When we have accepted who we are and what we need in order to grow in compassion and peacemaking, we can move forward to give life.’–Jean Vanier, Finding Peace (47-48)
(That’s a Buddha’s head among the rubble of what was once a temple, 1945, in this poor image.)
‘The debate over the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki concerns the ethical, legal and military controversies surrounding the United States’ atomic bombings.’
Saturday Serious Stuff
Elizabeth May reminds us that protests to clearcut logging in 1993 in Clayoquot Sound ‘resulted in major changes to forestry practices in British Columbia, and continue to influence First Nations land rights discussions, corporate sustainability and environmental policies worldwide. It 2000, Clayoquot Sound was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve – a tribute to every protester, activist and game-changer who fought in this “war in the woods”.’ The struggle to preserve it ‘is not over yet – while much of the rainforest remains standing, large tracts are still unprotected.’ Join the discussion on Facebook or donate.
As a working musician I was subjected to second-hand smoke until banned in bars, but butts still litter the ground. David Suzuki says that ‘the toxic butts can be ingested by children and animals, especially birds and marine animals. Tossed cigarette butts are also a major fire risk.’
Empathy (this short video made me cry)
Expanding the Tent (Free Software and social justice panel discussion with Beth Lynn Eicher, Jonathan Nadeau, and Deb Nicholson)
• tonight [2013-08-11] we learned about the rise and fall of the asante kingdom in the 17th to 19th centuries, which carved an empire from the west african jungle with gold and slaves. it continued its expansion by selling slaves to european traders, a practice that we in the 21st century find immoral; however, what 21st century practices will our 23rd century descendants find immoral? [seed offers a suggestion]
Been on a Be Good Tanyas kick after I read this tragic post. (That’s Sam on the left.)
Vanier asks (Becoming Human, 34), ‘What sort of society do we want? There are, for me, a few principles. A society that encourages us to break open the shell of selfishness and self-centredness contains the seeds of a society where people are honest, truthful, and loving. A society can function well only if those within are concerned, not only with their own needs or the needs of those who immediately surround them, but by the needs of all, that is to say, by the common good and the family of nations.’ Remember Trudeau’s notion of a Just Society, or JFK’s ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country’?
Vanier continues, ‘Each one of us, I believe, is on a journey towards this openness where we risk to love. Growth toward openness means dialogue, trusting in others, listening to them, particularly to those who say things we don’t like to hear, speaking together about our mutual needs and how we might grow to new things. The birth of a good society comes when people start to trust each other, to share with each other, and to feel concerned for each other.’
• we met a friend who’s researching a masters in farmers reclaiming wetlands, which led to a discussion of orgs like ducks unlimited and the wye marsh doing the same. that got me thinking about something john seed wrote. later cng dropped in.