Peaceful Japanese Garden, Portland, OR
Wednesday – The water trickles down the rocks into a still pool. The garden is cool after a long trek up the hill. I find the first of my favorite places to stop, exhale, breathe, listen and think. When I saw lines of people waiting to enter the garden I feared the beautiful contemplative quiet would be disturbed. I almost turned around and walked back down the hill. I stopped, looked around, and continued my climb to the entrance. The physical exercise is healing. I look to my left and I see more rocks and more water trickling down. I see a few people walking on the trails above. Most are quiet. The peaceful sound of running water is only disturbed by the sound of traffic below and construction in the distance. The tourists start streaming by. Two stop for a few minutes the enjoy the peace. The processing goes on!
Thursday – We are preparing for our “vacation”, 5 days camping in Central Oregon. We have never been there to explore. Whether this will be the chance remains to be seen. Yes, we are headed into Total-Eclipse-land. Our hope is that we are leaving early enough and will leave enough after the event to actually get to see something other than our campground. We will see.
I have not written about the recent horrific news, mostly because others are so much more eloquent than I. I grew up believing that all the civil rights unrest actually accomplished something. That the death of Martin Luther King was not for naught. That America had evolved, even if slowly. But, it has become clear that all that really has happened was the closeting of those who live in the world of hate. My uncle died in the Netherlands, fighting against fascism and racism. Now we are living in a fascist state. For now we are fighting for our own freedom and for the country we falsely thought we were. We are fighting for the American dream, the reason so many have come to our country and sought to become Americans. The cat has been let out of the bag; the world knows we are not what we seemed. It was all talk. Only we can change that and it is not by being silent. I look out on the plaza below me and to see the sunshine and people going about their lives, all looks normal. All is not what it seems. I walk down the street, self-conscious in my whiteness and wonder… I try to make eye contact with strangers. I constantly think about what I might do to affect real change. All of us who truly wish for our independent, diverse, free society to survive have a huge responsibility to walk the talk. ONWARD to do the work.
Stop-Exhale-Breathe and PLEASE BE KIND!