Tuesday, August 07, 2007
With a little help from its friends, the peace fleet was set free last night in Tenney Park
It's hard to sum up something as beautiful and -- yes, spiritual -- as last night's Lanterns for Peace observance at Tenney Park in a single photograph. That's why, if you're interested, I've uploaded more photos to this Flickr set. The event was cosponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility-Wisconsin and Madison Area Peace Coalition on the 62nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.
It was extraordinarily moving. It was partly the beauty of the lanterns glowing in the dark. It was partly the somber occasion -- mourning those who perished in Hiroshima, as well as expressing the participants' quiet but determined opposition to the Iraq war.
But it was also the gentle, fluid way everyone shared a single focus. When the peace fleet was bogged down in the weeds next to the shore, the lantern wrangler in the canoe picked up a crew of two children and they started ferrying the glowing lanterns to the center of the lagoon. Adults and kids pitched in, picking up the flickering, floating lanterns and passing them out to the canoe.
It doesn't really show up in the photographs -- but I'll never forget the faces of the two children in the canoe, bathed in candlelight, and beaming with a combination of proud delight, joy and steady determination. They had a job to do, and people were counting on them.