Thursday, May 16, 2013

Japan - Hiroshima

Paper crane art in the Hiroshima Peace Park
I have a thousand paper cranes. My aunt made them for me over a period of two years, if I remember correctly, and gave them to me as a gift. They are probably the single most beautiful gift I’ve ever been given when you consider the time they took to make. They hang from multiple strands and at the moment they are tucked away in my parent’s house in Canada, although they hung in pride of place in my living room when I still lived there. 

The story of the thousand paper cranes is one I imagine most Canadian school children are familiar with. When we learned about World War II in elementary they told the true story of a girl with cancer and her thousand paper cranes as a way to soften the historic significance of the first atomic bomb to be used against humankind by humankind. 

Standing by the A-Bomb Dome in Hiroshima was a moving experience that I don’t think I can do justice to by writing about. The display of paper cranes and the memorial of a girl, standing with a folded crane in her hands, made me appreciate all the more the importance of remembering that we are all connected. The cranes were beautiful, as beautiful as my thousand. 
The A-Bomb Dome - the building directly beneath the
bomb when it detonated. 

I rang the peace bell and listened to it reverberate, hoping the intention behind my action was felt everywhere and that maybe we could learn to let go of ‘us and them’ and see how dualism only harms us. 
The Peace Bell

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