August 6 was the 62nd anniversary of the Hiroshima bomb. The second fell over Nagasaki on the ninth. So I guess this was on my mind.
Well, I had other reasons. A couple of friends who were married nearly a year ago plan to take their first anniversary honeymoon in Japan in October. Sweetly enough, they asked if I’d like to come along (with other friends too; it’s not a bizarre kink-romp), a kind of Autumn spring break. They’re planning to stumble around Tokyo wearing T-shirts that say Stupid Gaijin on them.
Of course I’d like to come along, I said.
Tonight, I don’t really know why, I got to thinking of Pompeii, of Vesuvius, of how it must have been for the people there, their lives stopped in the midst of living, huddling together to escape the pyroclastic flow, their arms wrapped around each other in a final embrace of fear or love or both in that titanic final human moment as their brains were turned to liquid by the heat of the death that ended them; and some of them were, must have been strangers to one another; and yet then, there, it did not matter. Men and women, boys and girls; mothers wrapping themselves around their children — anyone’s children — in a hopeless act of protection; people fleeing in terror to the harbor and dying there, together but so alone, so very alone, by the water, by the sea.
Like strangers joining hands atop the dying WTC, and stepping off the edge, and falling, falling, falling forever and never seeing the ground; knowing only at the last that simple thing, that simple hand in a warm hand.
I thought of the casts that were left by their bodies in the ash, discovered later by modern archaeologists, and how I’ve seen some of them weep as they spoke of their finds.
That human, that so very human moment.
And I thought of Hiroshima, of the monuments to the dead, of the stains of shadows on concrete that freeze, photostatically, a life lived and then lost in less than a breath.
And I wept.
And as I scrubbed my hands over my cheeks and went to wash my face, I looked at the flow from the tap, felt it fall cool over my hands, and I thought mizu, they asked for mizu, this, water as they lay dying; how easy it is for me now to have this simple, cooling, blessed thing; and I thought of the offering of water and rice I place before my Buddharupa when I meditate, and for the first time in my life I truly understood why gestures like that can be so important, and I thought of small delicate cups of mizu, of water, being placed before the burned shadows of the dead in Hiroshima, and I thought it’ll never be enough for all of them, and I sobbed, and I wept more, and I realized.
The United States dropped two nuclear devices over civilian cities in Japan, and — just as Cheney made his lawyer friend apologize for having the poor manners to be shot in the face by the US VP — we somehow managed to justify this monstrous, terrible crime to ourselves.
And to the rest of the world.
Including the nation we’d nuked.
And rather than learn from this, we’re cowboying across the planet again, getting into pointless pissing contests that might well end in the same way. The world was, in a very real way, much safer in the Cold War era; and a chief destabilizer today is the very nation in which I live.
I can protest what the US does. I can mock its shoddy leadership. But the fact is, however much I squeal, that every day I live and work here, my taxes are going to feed an insatiable, psychotic murderous war machine that devours children, women, men — entire nations — whole and for no good reason.
I don’t think I can do this any more.
Nah, nah; this ain’t a GBCW post. I’m far too arrogant to think the world could carry on without me, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. Besides, I like living. It’s fun to do, not the least because it pisses some people off. And the orgasms are nice.
No, this is more of an appeal for help, suggestions and so on, from someone who might actually be motivated to emigrate.
Canada makes the most sense to me; it’s nearest and easiest.
I thought of emigrating before, in the late 90s, when it seemed that the most important thing I’d ever have to worry about was whether I might be able to marry my boyfriend.
It’s different now. There is blood on my hands now. And it’s been there for more than half a decade.
I’m thinking BC. Vancouver would be nice, I think. Or Victoria. I hear it’s a lovely, if wet, islet.
I lived in Milwaukee for a while and loved the hell out of it, so I know neither the latitude nor the cold would mess me up much. (And, when I was there, I noticed Toronto wasn’t too far away either.)
So here’s my question. This isn’t something I’d undertake quickly or without quite a lot of preparation. I’m a well-skilled graphic artist (award-winning, if you must know), with more than a little talent for writing, who has a strong solid background in programming rich media and websites (though I’d prefer to leave that a casual relationship, much as it is now). I vastly prefer working for non-profit concerns, agencies that make the world better — at least ostensibly — rather than exist to fatten a CEO’s Swiss numbers. And I swim extremely well in the seas of metropolitan areas.
I wonder just how hard it would be for me to find a niche in the Great White North; but I need a few contacts to run some info for me on the ground.
Not today, not tomorrow. Think six to twelve months or so.
If anyone Up Nort Dere Hey happens to see this, and if you happen to hear of a position opening somewhere, relatively soonish, that might interest me, something I might match, well, kick me a note sometime, if you would.
Because I’m tired of being even marginally responsible for the murders committed with my money by my nation in my name, and I just don’t want to participate any more. I’m tired of this game, and I think I want out of it.
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