Los Alamos and the Big Lie

In the morning Cathy and I went to the Georgia O’Keefe museum and filled up with the beauty and creativity of a human spirit. After that we headed up to Los Alamos where the first atomic bombs were designed and assembled, exactly where the statue looks out on, which is now a park. IMG_7390

Campaign Nonviolence is headed up by John Dear, who has led the processions to the nuclear weapons lab for years. This year the Upaya Zen Center gathered 70,000 paper cranes from all over the world (400 from me,) creating a beautiful stage of peace for us to hear speakers. The foremost speaker was Rev. Lawson who is a contemporary of Dr. King’s and wrote the non-violence guidelines that were the cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement and the Peace Movement that has followed.

IMG_7388We dressed in burlap sacks and carried ashes to provide a symbolic link to a biblical offering. Buddhists created another thoughtful presence. Everywhere was the past- to what was done in our names, what has come to haunt our world, what must never be allowed to happen again. (Recognizing that the Obama administration intends to spend one Trillion dollars to “modernize” the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile which is directly opposed to the Non-Proliferation Treaty which is our Best Hope for stability in this current period.)

About 350 of us walked the mile and a half to the bridge before Los Alamos Lab being led by this banner– 1 H Bomb = 100 Auschwitz.

IMG_7403When we had gone as far as the police would allow we sat by the road in silent contemplation and poured the ashes. (I kept some to add to Michael’s remaining ashes…strange thing but something I determined to do since his spirit is with me through these times we lived.)

IMG_7410Someone said that Los Alamos is the Largest Terrorist Camp in the World. This imbalance of polarities may destroy us. “They” think the nukes have defended us and “we” think that the nukes have destabilized the world and put us all at catastrophic risk.

I feel somewhat numb to the great grief of annihilation. It is too much to comprehend. In the evening we watched a film called Message from Hiroshima which had interviews from at least 20 nuclear survivors and there was a documentary about their ordinary lives before the destruction. Plain people living in harmony within their community. They were not the enemy. After the film there was a panel with Valerie Plame (of CIA fame,) Jay Coghlan (www.nukewatch.org) and Father John Dear. The audience asked the questions that we all ask but the only answer is that we must keep working and organizing for disarmament and abolition. There is no alternative.

As I have felt in the past I know I am where I need to be with the people that I must be with. Now, I have to find my voice and my feet to do my part and I hope each of you will do likewise.

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The Cradle of the A-Bomb

The Cradle of the A-Bomb

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To the Land of Enchantment

IMG_7287Cathy Webster and I left Chico in the wee hours of August 1st on the Amtrak to L.A. It was a grueling long time to get there but the train was interesting… with little bathrooms like on an airplane but more leg room, a dining car, an observation car, a junk food cafe.. When we got to L.A. we were two hours over but my friend Laurie and her husband were waiting for us and took us to their home for an eventful few days in that huge city. Being with them made it all easy since they know their way around and so does their some Gabe who played tour guide our last day. My favorite time was jumping around trying to ride the waves with Gabe. I hadn’t done that in years. Second best was going to the Getty Museum. Really the Best was just reconnecting with friends in their current lives and seeing their son just about grown. IMG_7311

We left L.A. after 5pm and had until light was lost of seeing extensions of it heading east. The night was long and uncomfortable but in the wee hours I saw a bull elk in a meadow as we neared Flagstaff and all the discomfort of the long night was worth it. We arrived in Albuquerque around noon yesterday and made our way to the airport by city bus where we found out our reserved car was waiting for us at the Santa Fe airport! A lively young opera singer heard our story and grabbed us up to ride up to retrieve the car since she was going to something near by. (Complete angel!)

Once we got into Santa Fe we wandered the downtown, ate some expensive food and eventually contacted the woman we are staying with. Her name is Barbara Murphy and she is a children’s author (15 books to her credit.) She’s a widow like Cathy and I and lives alone in a beautiful adobe home looking east to the Sangre Cristo mountains as well as west to the sunset. Her home is adorned with beauty and she has been very sweet to us.

The Campaign Non-violence Conference starts tomorrow after the Hiroshima Observance in Los Alamos, some 35 minutes from here. Today we took the opportunity to see Taos and visit the Taos Pueblo as well as Earthship which is located across the grand canyon of the Rio Grande from Taos. None of it is what I expected but I’ll share these photos with you for you to enjoy:

IMG_7339IMG_7347IMG_7370IMG_7360 IMG_7324This trip has been an enchantment of forgetting for most ot the time and I have relished it all.

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