112 Olympic-size pools of radioactive water, and more every minute

We knew this was coming, but where do we go from here?

After dumping 11,500 tons of radioactive water into the sea within a month after the Fukushima meltdown began, in violation of international law, TEPCO continued to store a flood of radioactive water, assuming that – someday, somewhere – it could be cleaned and disposed of.

From the New York Times on Monday:

“Groundwater is pouring into the plant’s ravaged reactor buildings at a rate of almost 75 gallons a minute… A small army of workers has struggled to contain the continuous flow of radioactive wastewater, relying on hulking gray and silver storage tanks sprawling over 42 acres of parking lots and lawns. The tanks hold the equivalent of 112 Olympic-size pools.

“But even they are not enough to handle the tons of strontium-laced water at the plant …. In a sign of the sheer size of the problem, the operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power Company, or Tepco, plans to chop down a small forest on its southern edge to make room for hundreds more tanks, a task that became more urgent when underground pits built to handle the overflow sprang leaks in recent weeks.

“‘The water keeps increasing every minute, no matter whether we eat, sleep or work,’ said Masayuki Ono, a general manager with Tepco who acts as a company spokesman. ‘It feels like we are constantly being chased, but we are doing our best to stay a step in front.'”

Light

On days when humanity feels small, violent, afraid; when we are killing each other, here and in other countries; when we are stripping each other of our rights; poisoning and raping our children; when it hurts so much to think about who we have lost, who we have maimed, what we have destroyed…it is worth remembering that this is what the universe looks like:

orion-nebula

This is the star cluster, NGC 1980 in Orion, as seen through the Canada France Hawaii Telescope, where I once worked for a summer as a college student.  This is what it looks like to our eyes:

13625NGC_1980_-_OC

We are bigger, better, more beautiful than we appear to ourselves (even Dove knows that). We can choose to see ourselves, and each other, as we are in truth.

Tribute

Yesterday, I was on my way to a meeting about the college process for my high school junior when a different experience presented itself.  The man sitting across from me on the subway – seemingly intoxicated, bag in a bottle, belt loops tied together to keep his pants on – stood up and then suddenly dropped, unconscious and face first onto the floor of the car.  There was a crunch (his head) and screams (from some of us around him) and a splatter of blood from a cut above his eye.  There was a pause, a circle created as passengers stepped away; he lay motionless until he reared up, howling, blood on his face and hands, and then there was someone there, crouched on the ground beside him to calm him down.

The man who came to his aid was not a doctor.  He was a passenger who could ask for napkins, who could ask the injured man for his name, his age, who knew to try to keep him conscious; who (whatever you might think of the wisdom of this) held the bloody napkins to his head stop the bleeding until a half an hour later when an emergency medical team finally arrived.  He, and a young woman who joined him, made sure that the injured man knew he was not alone by talking to him, touching him, by knowing instinctively how to live in a world where we are more the same than we are other.  The same world where MTA personnel are prohibited from touching anyone, and where some of the other people on the platform used the shock and confusion in the car to grab an empty seat and watch the show.

Healing

Just came back from Vermont, where I did a number of readings with Rachel Pollack‘s Shining Tribe Tarot, and this card, the Five of Stones, came up several times.  It meant, variously, You are healed; Healing is coming; Embrace your role as a healer; and Aspects of yourself that you gave up are returning to be reclaimed.  This morning, finally back at my desk, an email from Rob Brezsny’s Truth and Beauty Lab mused on the experience of healing and love by quoting Rachel:

 “We cannot predict the results of healing, either our own or the world around us,” she said. “We need to act for the sake of a redemption that will be a mystery until it unfolds before us.”

I look forward to that unfolding.

five of stones

 

Beautiful Creatures

What a fantastic day in Washington Square Park.  So many dancing here, all over the city, all over the world.  Thank you to all the beautiful creatures, men and women, dancing for peace, love, equity, joy, freedom.

One Billion Rising

One of every three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime. That is ONE BILLION mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, and friends. Yet, most of the world remains silent and indifferent. The time has come to put a stop to the violence, and to the silence that surrounds it.

On February 14th, 2013, one billion women and those who love them are invited to walk out, rise up, dance, and strike to demand an end to violence against women and girls.

ONE BILLION RISING.

Sign up or get more information at: onebillionrising.org.  Like: facebook.com/vday.  Tweet: @VDAY with the hashtag #1billionrising

Watch this beautiful video (I don’t know why I can’t embed it correctly!):  Man Prayer One Billion Rising

And if you are in New York and want to join me and hundreds of others in the flash mob in Washington Square Park, come learn the dance with us:

KJ Grow will be offering rehearsals free of charge and open to all on the following dates:

  • Sunday, February 10, 5:30pm-6:30pm at Dancewave (45 4th Ave in Brooklyn)
  • Wednesday, February 13, 6-7pm at 440 Studios, Studio 4F (440 Lafayette St in Manhattan)

Other opportunities to learn the dance:

  • Saturday, February 9, 2-3:30pm at 440 Studios, Studio 4A (440 Lafayette St, Manhattan)
  • Monday, February 11, 8:30-9:30pm at 440 Studios, Studio 4C (440 Lafayette St, Manhattan)