The Martha's Vineyard Peace Council commemorated the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima today, as it does each year, with a prayerful sunrise circle adjacent to the Gay Head Light in Aquinnah.
I'm always torn about the efficacy of events like this. I'm a "do something about it" sort of person and I don't know whether peace people simply being with each other in a settling of great beauty does anything. In fact, I am not sure that focusing on peace itself is the way; without justice, in most circumstances, there can be no peace. But this too is how we get ourselves together to change the world.
The ritual of the event is for participants to pass around a bell, each sharing their thoughts. Nearly forty spoke; though there was great emphasis on the seeking of peace within, there was also a fair amount of determination to replace our government that makes wars.
In Christian calendars, this date is also the feast of "the transfiguration" -- that moment when Jesus, praying on the mountain, was revealed "in glory." This transfiguration echoes the Exodus story of Moses returning from the mountain after speaking with God and the "the skin of his face was shining." The image of the Divine as light is warm, welcoming. and appropriately terrifying when approached in the context of remembering the atomic bombing.
The sunrise gave this morning's gathering a glowing cast. I have not retouched the colors in the photos below.
We arrived early.
Rev. Alden Besse arrives bearing peace cranes, along with two friends.
We passed the gong.
We listened. Now let's go out to do the work.