Avrei bisogno di parlarti ma tu non ci sei Non sei presente hai la testa altrove chiusa nel tuo mondo fai finta di ascoltarmi fai finta di reagire Ma ancora non capisci che stai solo evitando la questione Ma le cose quelle vere non si possono nascondere per sempre Ci hai provato, non ci sei riuscita Arrenditi In fondo, quanto male potrà fare?
Il fatto è che non voglio ascoltare non voglio parlare preferisco scappare piuttosto che affrontare la questione Chiamami codarda Chiamami patetica ma dovrò pur proteggermi, no? Sennò, chi ti proteggerà?
The gold in his eyes had reverted back to its crimson color. His white hair was honey-blonde again. But Chizuru felt his life fading away, cradling his face in her hands, his cheeks losing its warmth.
Hijikata’s katana was still pierced through him, preventing his healing abilities to activate. But if she pulled it out—if she could pull it out—she would be holding a pile of ashes instead.
“Why? Why did you come back, Kazama?” Chizuru cried, her pink kimono soaked with the pure oni blood of her once-kidnapper.
Kazama reached a bloody hand out to her cheek, blending a streak of red as he wiped her tears. “I had to make sure,” he said, voice hoarse. Chizuru felt his chest trembling, his lungs struggling to find air.
“I had to make sure you were safe, Chi…” his words trailed off.
Chizuru lifted his limp body, holding him closer in her arms. “Please. Please hold on,” she begged. Kazama tilted his face, his eyes half-lidded, and smiled.
“I may not be with you in this lifetime, but I will come for you again,” he whispered, closing his eyes slowly.
Chizuru returned the smile, not quite reaching her tear-filled eyes, but it was soft, nonetheless. She looked up at the sakura tree they were under, reveling in the cool shade. She let out a sigh of relief as she watched hundreds of pink petals dance into the breeze that stopped by.
Her neck ached, refusing to look back down when she heard the sound of a metal clink, and her arms and hands empty.
Chizuru wrapped her small fingers around the man’s wrist. She watched the clock across the wall, counting the beat of his heart silently. She clicked her tongue and shook her head.
“Either something is wrong with you, or you’re excited to see me, soldier,” she teased, writing the result of his blood pressure on his chart. It was a lot higher than yesterday’s. She scribbled a note next to it, reminding herself to talk to Dr. Matsumoto after her rounds.
“I think you should check another body part and you’ll find out the answer, Miss,” the soldier retorted, a crooked grin splashed across his face. Chizuru rolled her eyes at the brash young man, slapping his shoulder in jest.
The flirting was interrupted by a ceramic plate shattering on the floor. “Where is she? Where is she?” A loud familiar voice echoed across the infirmary. The yelling continued, and Chizuru rushed over to aid the other nurses.
“Hey, hey, enough,” Chizuru said calmly, gently pushing the soldier back down on his cot. His head was completely bandaged, two holes poked around the nose and a slit where his mouth was. It was just yesterday that he came into the hospital, bloodied and blinded by a bomb that detonated in front of him. He was lucky to still be alive, although Chizuru presumed it won’t be too long until his wounds got the best of him.
He grabbed her waist, catching Chizuru by surprise. “Miss, I know it’s you,” he said, his hand clasping on her white dress. She laid her hand on top of his, caressing his knuckles. “Yes, it’s me. I’m here.”
Chizuru’s eyes went wide when she saw the bandage around his stomach seeping with blood, emitting a strong stench. His wounds had opened up, possibly infected. “I need a doctor!” she cried out, grabbing white clothes from a table nearby. “Don’t worry, sir, you’re going to be okay.”
The soldier laughed, tugging the necklace around his neck. “You don’t worry. I heal really quickly,” his voice dripped with sarcasm. “Give me your hand,” he requested, his right hand waving around him, reaching out to her.
Chizuru hesitated. She was putting pressure on his wounds and needed both hands to stop the bleeding. “Please,” he said softly.
“Here,” she finally responded, lifting her right hand toward him as she leaned on her left arm, hoping it was enough pressure until the doctor came.
He flipped her hand over, palm facing up, and placed the necklace on it. It was his army tags.
“Wear this when we go out dancing tomorrow,” he said, his thumb grazing her wrist. “I want everyone to know who you belong to,” he teased.
Chizuru chuckled, strays of tears falling from eyes. She was relieved he couldn’t see her right now. She hated her ugly cries. “Yeah, okay.”
A strong arm pushed Chizuru off the soldier. It was Dr. Matsumoto, frantically inspecting the wounds. Another nurse asked her to move, instructing her to return to her duties. Another two men rolled a gurney next to her. “We need to get him to the operating room now.”
Chizuru stuffed the necklace into her pocket. “I’ll come back tomorrow,” she said to herself, praying that the soldier will keep his promise to her.
The next day, Chizuru couldn’t wait to visit the bandaged soldier. Of course she knew they weren’t going out dancing—she wasn’t that naive. But there was something different about him, something familiar that compelled her to stay by his side.
The cot was empty, completely clean like there was never a body there. They moved him, she thought. She ran to Dr. Matsumoto’s office, no intention of knocking his door. “Where did they move the soldier?” she panted, leaning against the door frame. Dr. Matsumoto looked up, piles of paperwork in front of him. “Which soldier?”
Oh. Right. He wasn’t the only wounded soldier in the hospital. She didn’t know his name and a minute passed by before it clicked in her mind that she had the answer in her pocket. She took it out, her thumb swiping at the metal tag. “C. Kazama,” she read out loud.
Dr. Matsumoto dropped his gaze and picked up a pen and continued rustling through the paperwork. Chizuru stared at him, noticing an annoyed look on his face.
“I didn’t even get a chance to operate on him.”
Los Angeles, 2017
“I’m telling you, this house party is going to be off the chain,” Sen boasted, her face plastered to her iPhone. “Jesus, where the fuck is our Uber?”
Chizuru giggled. They both just passed their nursing exams and this wasn’t really her idea of celebrating, but what the hell, it was time for her to finally enjoy her life.
The speakers blared Calvin Harris and Chizuru was ready to leave. It was crowded and Chizuru’s petite frame kept bumping into dancing and drunk bodies. This was not her scene at all.
“You know what? I think I might just go back to my apartment and sleep,” she yelled into Sen’s ear.
“Bitch, we just got here,” Sen clapped back, handing her a beer. Where the heck did she get that beer? Chizuru sighed in defeat. “Fine. I’m going to get some air, but I’m leaving with or without you,” handing back the can of beer.
Chizuru headed to the backyard and she felt eyes following her there. The cold air hit her lungs, breathing new life into her. She walked toward a bench underneath a tree and sat down. She looked up into the tree. She couldn’t remember the name of it, but she thought the pink and white petals were very pretty. It was definitely not native to California, probably from a foreign land, she thought.
“Hey,” a deep voice said behind her. Chizuru jolted. She reached at her purse, like she had a gun or pepper spray in it, but who was she kidding—it could only fit her keys, cell phone and a stick of gum. She turned around slowly and saw a silhouette of a tall man a few feet away from her. She couldn’t quite see his face, the moonlight and shadow hitting different angles of him.
“Uh, hey,” she said right back to him. He moved in closer and he had a finger up to his lips, gesturing her to be quiet. Chizuru flushed red, embarrassed when she finally noticed the cell phone next to his ear. He wasn’t talking to her.
“Tell Amagiri to put in that order. Yes, that one,” he continued. “Fuck. I’ll just take care of it,” he sighed, hanging up on whoever he was talking to. “Useless piece of shit.”
He sat down next to Chizuru, stuffing the phone in the front pocket of his jeans. “I’m sorry. I hope I didn’t scare you,” he said, his body relaxing into the bench. “It’s too fucking loud in that house.”
Chizuru inched away from the man, giving him more space. She fidgeted in her seat, nervous by the proximity. “Yeah, it’s so much cooler out here.” Oh, my God, she was talking about the weather to him. She couldn’t wait to leave.
The honey-blonde young man stared at her but his eyes were directed at her chest. Chizuru instinctively folded her arms, covering her cleavage. The man quickly turned away and cleared his throat.
“Shit, I’m sorry. You must think I’m a pervert,” he coughed, his head still turned away. “You look too cute to be in the army,” he said, his eyes finally meeting her gaze.
Chizuru touched the dog tags that hung around her neck. “Oh! I found this at a thrift shop,” she laughed, playing with the metal pieces. “My friends think it’s gaudy, but I don’t know. I feel safe wearing it.”
The air around them had shifted and they both were finally comfortable around each other. Time had passed them so quickly and Chizuru began to yawn. She took out her phone and glanced at the clock. It was 12:30 a.m.
“Oh, shit! I have to go find my friend,” she said, putting her high heels back on. When did she take them off?
The young man looked disappointed. He stood up with her, his hands deep in his pockets. He towered over her, even with her three-inch heels on. “Yeah, okay,” he fumbled his words. “I guess I’ll see you around,” his voice trailing at the last word.
Chizuru shrugged, giving him a half smile. “Sure. Maybe we’ll run into each other again,” she said.
She waved at him and walked slowly away from him. She didn’t want to turn back, didn’t want to know if he was watching her leave. I guess he’s not interested, she thought. He didn’t even ask me for my name.
A strong hand wrapped around her arm and pulled her back. He wrapped his arms around her, the warmth of him encompassed her.
“Don’t go,” he whispered in her ear. “I’m such a fucking idiot,” he said, his arms releasing her. Chizuru turned around, shooting him a confused look.
“It would be cool and shit if we ran into each other again,” he ranted, “but I don’t want to wait a century, so I’m just going to ask for your number and call you tomorrow.”
Chizuru’s heart was dancing. A smile grew on her face and she took out her phone.
‘WHAT IS MOST POWERFUL?’ ASKED THE MONK. THE BUDDHA SAID: ‘MEEKNESS IS MOST POWERFUL.’
Jesus says, ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.’ The statement looks absurd, because the meek?—they have never been powerful enough to inherit the earth. And we cannot conceive that they will ever be able to inherit the earth. But Jesus is saying something very true: Blessed are the meek. And when he says they shall inherit the earth, he is saying this same message that Buddha is saying. MEEKNESS IS MOST POWERFUL—that is his meaning when he says they shall inherit the earth.
Meekness is powerful, but the power has a totally different connotation now. Meekness is powerful because now there is nobody against you. Meekness is powerful because you are no more separate from the whole—and the whole is powerful. Meekness is powerful because you are no more fighting, and there is no way of your being defeated. Meekness is powerful, because with the whole you have already conquered. All victory is with the whole. Meekness is powerful because you are riding on the wave of the whole. Now there is no possibility of your ever being defeated.
It looks paradoxical, because the meek person is one who does not want to conquer. The meek person is one who is ready to be defeated. Lao Tzu says, ‘Nobody can defeat me because I have accepted defeat already.’ Now how can you defeat a defeated person? Lao Tzu says, ‘Nobody can defeat me because I am standing as the last person in the world. You cannot push me any further back—there is no ‘further back.’ I am the last person.’ Jesus also says, ‘Those who are last in this world will be first in my kingdom of god.’ Those who are the last will be the first? It does not seem possible in this world. In this world, aggressive people, violent people, tend to power, tend to be victorious. You will find the most mad people in the most powerful places, because to reach to that point one has almost to be crazy for power, the competition is such. The competition is so violent that how can a meek person reach to a state of power? No… but that is not the meaning. When Buddha says, MEEKNESS IS MOST POWERFUL, he is saying you cannot defeat a meek person because he has no desire to conquer. You cannot force a meek person to be a failure because he never wanted to succeed. You cannot enforce a meek person to be poor, because he has no desire for riches. Poverty is his richness. Not to be anybody in particular is his way of life. To be a nobody is his very style. What can you take away from him? He has nothing. He cannot be cheated, he cannot be robbed. In fact, he cannot be destroyed because he has already surrendered that which can be destroyed. He has no self, no ego of his own.
It happened when Alexander was going back from India, he wanted to take a sannyasin with him. When he was coming to conquer India, his teacher, the great philosopher Aristotle, had told him, ‘When you are coming back, bring a gift to me. I would like to see a sannyasin from India.’ That is something very original to the East. That contribution belongs to the East. The West has given great warriors, the East has given great sannyasins. Aristotle was intrigued with the very idea of sannyas, what it is.
Alexander, going back, remembered. He enquired. The people of that village where he was staying told him, ‘Yes, there is a sannyasin, but we don’t think you will be able to take him back.’ He laughed at the foolishness of the villagers, because who can prevent Alexander? He said, ‘If I want to take the Himalayas, even they will follow me. So you don’t be worried, just tell me where he is.’ They told him.
He was a naked fakir, a naked man standing just by the side of the river outside the village… a beautiful person. Dandamis was his name—that’s how Alexander’s historians have remembered him. Two soldiers were sent. They told the sannyasin, ‘Alexander the Great wants you to follow him. You will be a royal guest. Whatsoever you need will be provided, every comfort will be made possible. Accept the invitation.’
The naked man started laughing. He said, ‘I have dropped all wandering. I don’t go anywhere any more. I have come home.’
They said, ‘Don’t be stupid. The great Alexander can force you to go. If you don’t go as a guest, you will go as a prisoner. The choice is yours. Anyway you will have to go.’
He started laughing again. He said, ‘I have dropped the very thing that can be imprisoned. Nobody can make me a prisoner. I am freedom.’
Alexander himself came. He took his sword out and he told the sannyasin, ‘If you don’t come with me, this sword is here and I will cut your head.’
The sannyasin said, ‘You can do it. In fact I have done it already. I have cut my head myself. And if you cut my head, you will see it falling down on the ground and I will also see it falling on the ground, because I have become a witness.’
It is said that Alexander could not gather courage to kill this man. He was so happy, he was so fearless, he was so blissful.
When Buddha says, MEEKNESS IS MOST POWERFUL, he means one who does not exist as an ego is meek. One who does not exist as an ego cannot be conquered, cannot be defeated, cannot be destroyed. He has gone beyond. By going beyond the ego, you go beyond death. By going beyond the ego, you go beyond defeat. By going beyond the ego, you go beyond powerlessness. This is a totally different concept of power—the power of a sannyasin.
This power is no more out of conflict. This power is not created out of friction. You say electricity is created out of friction. You can create electricity out of friction, you can create fire out of friction. If you rub both your hands, they will become hot. There is a power that comes out of friction—by conflict. And there is a power that comes by cooperation—not by friction but by harmony. That’s what Buddha says—‘One who is in accord with the way is great.’ One who is in accord with the way is powerful. But to be in accord with the way, one has to be meek.
Blessed are the meek. Certainly they shall inherit the earth. But history will never know about them, because history has nothing to do with them. History knows only friction, history knows only mischief. History knows only mischief-mongers. History knows only mad people—because history records only when something goes wrong. When everything goes absolutely in tune, it is out of time and out of history also.
History does not report much about Jesus—in fact, nothing. If the Bible was not in existence, there would have been no record about Jesus. And I would like to tell you that many people like Jesus have existed, but we don’t have any record about them. History never took any note. They were so meek, they were so silent, they were so in tune, so deep in harmony, that not even a ripple was created around them. They came and they left, and they have not left even a footprint.
History has not been recording Buddhas. That’s why when you hear about a Buddha or a Mahavira or a Zarathustra, they look like mythological figures, not historic. It appears that they never existed, or they only existed in the dreams of man, or they existed only in the poetries of a few imaginative, romantic people. They look like wish-fulfillments. They look like how man would like man to be… but not realities. They were real. They were so real that no trace has been left behind them.
Unless you create some mischief, you will not be leaving your signature on history. That’s why history records only politics, because politics is the mechanism of mischief. The politician is in conflict. The religious person lives in harmony. He lives like trees. Who records about trees? He lives like rivers. Who records about rivers? He moves like clouds. Who bothers about clouds?
The meek person is one who is in harmony. And Buddha says he is the most powerful. But this concept of power is totally different. To understand it, a few things will be good to remember.
In Japan they have a beautiful science—aikido. The word ‘aikido’ comes from a word ‘ki.’ ‘Ki’ means power. The same word in Chinese is ‘chi.’ From ‘chi’ comes t’ai chi—that too means power. Just equivalent to ki and chi is the Indian word ‘prana.’ It is a totally different concept of power.
In aikido they teach that when somebody attacks you, don’t be in conflict with him—even when somebody attacks you. Cooperate with him. This looks impossible, but one can learn the art. And when you have learned the art, you will be tremendously surprised that it happens—you can cooperate even with your enemy. When somebody attacks you, aikido says go with him. Ordinarily when somebody attacks you, you become stiff, you become hard. You are in conflict. Aikido says take even attack in a very loving way. Receive it. It is a gift from the enemy. He is bringing great energy to you. Receive it, absorb it, don’t conflict. In the beginning it looks impossible. How? Because for centuries we have been taught about one idea of power, and that is that of conflict, friction. We know only one power and that is of fight. We know only one power, and that is of no, saying no. You can watch it even in small children. The moment the child starts becoming a little independent, he starts saying no. The mother says, ‘Don’t go out.’ He says, ‘No, I will go.’ The mother says, ‘Keep quiet.’ He says, ‘No. I want to sing and dance.’ Why does he say no? He is learning ways of power. ‘No’ gives power. Aikido says, ‘say yes’. When the enemy attacks you, accept it as a gift. Receive it, become porous. Don’t become stiff. Become as liquid as possible. Receive this gift, absorb it, and the energy from the enemy will be lost and you will become the possessor of it. There will be a jump of energy from the enemy to you. A master of aikido, without fighting, conquers. He conquers by non-fighting. He is tremendously meek, humble. The enemy is destroyed by his own attitude. He is creating enough poison for himself; there is no need for you to help him. He is suicidal. He is committing suicide by attacking. There is no need for you to fight with him.
You just try it sometimes. You have watched it—the same phenomenon happening in many ways. You see a drunkard walking on the road, and then he falls in the gutter. But he is not hurt. By the morning you will see him again going to the office, perfectly healthy and okay. The whole night he was in the gutter. He fell, but he has not broken his ribs or his bones, he has no fracture. You fall—and you will immediately have a fracture. What is happening when a drunkard falls? He falls so totally, he goes with it. He is drunk, he cannot resist.
It is said about Chuang Tzu… He came across an accident. A bullock cart had gone upside down, had fallen in a ditch. The driver was hurt very much, the owner was hurt; he had fractures. But a drunkard was also travelling in the bullock cart with the owner. He was not hurt at all. He was not even aware of what had happened, he was snoring. He had fallen on the ground. The others were crying and weeping and he was fast asleep. Chuang Tzu said, ‘Seeing this, I understood what Lao Tzu means when he says ‘let go.’’
Children are doing this every day. You watch children. The whole day they fall here and there, but they are not hurt. If you do the same, it will be impossible for you—you will have to be hospitalized—within a day, twenty-four hours, you will be hospitalized. The children fall in accord. When they fall they are not resisting, they are not going against the fall, they are not trying to protect themselves. They don’t go stiff. In fact, they fall in a very relaxed way.
Aikido, t’ai chi, or what Jesus calls meekness, what Buddha calls meekness, depend on the same principle—the principle of harmony.
You try it in your life; you just try in small experiments. Somebody slaps your face. Try to absorb it, receive it. Feel happy that he has released energy on your face—and see how it feels. You will have a totally different feeling. And that has happened many times unawares. A friend comes and slaps you on your back. You don’t know who it is—then you look. He is a friend and you are feeling happy. It was a friendly slap. But if you look back and he is an enemy, you feel hurt. The quality of the slap immediately changes with your attitude. If it is a friend you accept it, it is beautiful, it is a loving thing. If he is the enemy, then it is not loving, it is full of hate. The slap is the same, the energy is the same, the same impact of energy, but your attitude changes.
You can watch it many times. Just now it is raining. You will be going back home. You can take it in an aikido way, or you can take it in the ordinary way. The ordinary way is that you will see that your clothes will become wet, or you may get cold, or this may happen, or that may happen. And you will be against the rains. You will be running towards home in a bad mood, antagonistic. This has happened many times. Now you try aikido. Relax, enjoy the falling drops of water on your face. It is tremendously beautiful. It is so soothing, so cleansing, so refreshing. What is wrong in your clothes getting wet? Why be so worried about it? They can be dried. But why miss this opportunity? The heaven is meeting with the earth. Why miss this opportunity? Why not dance it? Don’t rush and don’t run. Slow down, enjoy. Close your eyes and feel the drops falling on your eyelids, moving on your face. Feel the touch of it. Accept it… a gift from heaven. And suddenly you will see—it is beautiful, and you have never looked at it that way.
Try it in ordinary life experiences. Conflict you have always been in. Now try accord. And suddenly you will see—the whole meaning changes. Then you are no more in antagonism with nature.
Suddenly the sun arises, the clouds have disappeared, and a great light falls on your face. Take it easily, take it as a love gift from the sun. Close your eyes, absorb it. Drink the light. Feel happy, blessed. And you will see—it is a totally different energy. Otherwise you start perspiring. You may perspire still, because heat is heat, but deep down the meaning has changed. Now you perspire, but you feel good. Nothing is wrong in perspiring. It cleanses you, it takes toxins outside, it releases poison from the body. It is a purifying fire. Just the attitude…
MEEKNESS IS MOST POWERFUL.
And meekness means the attitude of no-friction, no-conflict… the attitude of harmony. ‘I am not, god is’ is what meekness is. ‘I am not, the whole is’—that is the meaning of meekness.
Ordinarily we live through the ego and we suffer. And the ego goes on misinterpreting. Last night I was reading a beautiful anecdote:
Some years back a senator from the Interior Committee visited an Indian Reservation in Arizona, where he made a fine speech full of promises of better things, as politicians always do.
‘We shall see,’ he said, ‘a new era of Indian opportunity.’ To this the Indians gave a ringing cry of ‘Hoya! Hoya!’
Encouraged, the senator continued, ‘We promise better schools and technical training.’ ‘Hoya! Hoya!’ exclaimed the audience with much enthusiasm.
‘We pledge better hospitals and medical assistance,’ said the senator. ‘Hoya! Hoya!’ cried the Indians.
With a tear running down his cheek, the senator ended, ‘We come to you as equals, as brothers, so trust us.’ The air shook with one long mighty ‘Hoya!’
Greatly pleased by his reception, the senator then began a tour of the reservation. ‘I see you have fine breeds of beef cattle here,’ he said. ‘May I inspect them?’
‘Certainly, come this way,’ said the chief, ‘but be careful not to step in the hoya.’
The ego is just hoya, a misunderstanding. It is non-existential—yet the dirtiest thing possible. The very idea that ‘I am separate from existence,’ is dirty. The very idea that ‘I have to fight with my own energy source,’ is foolish and absurd.
But sometimes, what happens?—you seem to conquer. That is a misinterpretation. When your ego sees that it is conquering, it is not the ego that is conquering. In fact, it is just a coincidence. Sometimes you are going to the left and the whole existence is also going to the left—you coincide. But you think you are succeeding, you think, ‘I am gaining power.’ Sooner or later you will be in trouble, because it cannot always be so. It can be always so only if you are meek. A meek person becomes so sensitive that he is never against the whole. He is always sensitive to feel where the whole is going. He rides on the horse and goes with the horse. He does not try to give a direction to the horse. He trusts the horse.
It happened: With a grinding of brakes, the officer pulled up his motorcar and shouted to a little boy playing in the field, ‘I say, sonny, have you seen an airplane come down anywhere near here?’
‘No, sir,’ replied the boy, trying to hide his slingshot. ‘I have only been shooting at that bottle on the fence.’
A small child can be forgiven. He is afraid that maybe because of his slingshot the airplane has fallen. He can be forgiven if he is hiding his slingshot. But this is what your so-called great personalities are doing. That’s what all egoists are doing. They go on thinking that things are happening because of them.
It happened: Drought struck the countryside, and the parson of the church prayed for rain.
Rain came in such torrents that a flood followed.
A rescue party in a boat spied the parson sitting on the roof of his house watching the current swirl by. ‘Your prayers were sure answered,’ shouted one.
‘Yes,’ said the careful, stranded one. ‘I figure it ain’t bad for a little church like ours.’
Sometimes your prayers are fulfilled—not because of your prayers, just because by a coincidence the whole was also going in that way, in that direction. Your prayers coincided.
Sometimes your efforts are fulfilled because they coincide. Ego is coincidental. You go on collecting your ego just out of coincidences. But this cannot happen always, that’s why one feels miserable. One day you are succeeding, another day you are failing. And you cannot figure it out—what is happening? Such a great intellectual, such a great man of understanding, power, strength, logic, reason—failing? What is happening? You cannot believe it, because just now it was succeeding. Ego is always in trouble because it cannot always be a coincidence. Sometimes you are with the whole, unknowingly; sometimes you are not with the whole. When you are with the whole, you succeed.
The whole succeeds always, you never. The meek person is one who says, ‘I am not, only the whole is.’ He drops himself completely. He does not become a barrier. He allows the whole to have its way. Buddha says this is real power.
Douglas Robinson, The New York Times, 16 April 1967
Thousands of antiwar demonstrators marched through the Streets of Manhattan yesterday and then massed in front of the United Nations building to hear United States policy In Vietnam denounced.
The Police Department’s office of Community Relations said that police, off leers at the scene estimated the number of demonstrators outside the United Nations at “between 100,000 and 125,000.”
It was difficult to make any precise count because people were continually leaving and entering the rally area. It was also almost Impossible to distinguish the demonstrators from passersby and spectators.
On Friday the police had announced that they were preparing for a crowd of 100,000 to 400,000.
Leaders of Parade It was the largest peace demonstration staged in New York since the Vietnam war began. It took four hours for all the marchers to leave Central Park for the United Nations Plaza.
The parade was led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dr. Benjamin Spock, the pediatrician, and Harry Belafonte, the singer, as well as several other civil rights and religious figures, all of whom linked arms as they moved out of the park at the head of the line.
The marchers—who had poured into New York on chartered buses, trains and cars from cities as far away as Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago—included housewives from Westchester, students and poets from the Lower East Side, priests and nuns, doctors, businessmen and teachers.
Chant From Youths As they began trooping out of Central Park toward Fifth Avenue, some of the younger demonstrators chanted: “Hell no, we won’t go,“ and “Hey, Hey, L. B. J., How Many Kids Did You Kill Today.”
Most of the demonstrators, however, marched silently as they passed equally silent crowds of onlookers. At several points—notably Central Park South from the—Avenue of the Americas to Fifth Avenue—the sidewalks were swarming with onlookers. Other blocks were almost deserted.
Some of the marchers were , hit with eggs and red paint. At 47th Street and Park Avenue, several demonstrators were struck by steel rods from a building under construction. Some plastic cups filled with sand barely missed another group. There were no serious injuries.
At least five persons were arrested for disorderly conduct. Three youths were taken into custody when they tried to rush a float that depicted the Statue of Liberty.
The demonstration here and a similar One in San Francisco were sponsored by the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, a loose confederation of leftwing, pacifist and moderate antiwar groups;
A few minutes before 11 AM, an hour before the parade started, about 70 young men gathered on an outcropping of rock in the southeast comer of the Sheep Meadow in Central Park to bum their draft cards. They were quickly joined by others, some of whom appeared to have decided to join in on the spot.
Hard to Check The demonstrators said that nearly 200 cards were burned, although in the chanting, milling throng it was impossible to get an accurate count or to tell whether all the papers burned were draft cards.
Surrounded by a human chain that kept out hundreds of onlookers, the demonstrators first clustered In small groups around cigarette lighters, then sat down and passed cards up to a youth holding a flaming coffee cam Cheers and chants of “Resist, Resist,” went up as small white cards—many of which were passed hand to hand from outside the circle—caught fire.
Many of the demonstrators carried or wore daffodils and chanted “Flower Power.”
It was the first large draft-card, burning in the protests against the war in Vietnam, although groups of up to a dozen had publicly burned their cards.
Among the group yesterday was a youth in the uniform, jump boots and green beret of the Army Special Forces, whose name tag said “Rader.” He identified himself as Gary Rader of Evanston, Ill., and said he had served a year and a half of active duty as a reservist.
Like the rest of the demonstrators, the card burners were a mixed group. Most were of college age, and Included bearded, button-wearing hippies, earnest students in tweed coats and ties, and youths who fitted in neither category.
There were a number of girls who burned half of their husband’s or boy friend’s draft cards while the men burned the other half. Among the burners were a sprinkling of older men, including several veterans and the Rev. Thomas Hayes of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship.
Last week the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held unconstitutional a law passed in 1965 banning draft-card burning under pain of a maximum 5-year sentence and a $10,000; fine; Two convictions under the law, however, have been upheld by United States Courts of Appeals in the Second and Eighth Circuits.
Vietcong Flags Raised In his speech at the United Nations rally, Dr. King repeatedly called on the United States to “honor its word0 and “stop the bombing of North Vietnam.”
“I would like to urge students from colleges all over the nation to use this summer and coming summers educating and organizing communities across the nation against war,” Dr. King told the crowd.
Before making his speech, the minister and a five-man delegation presented a formal note to Dr. Ralph Bunche, Undersecretary for Special Political Affairs at the United Nations.
The note said: “We rally at the United Nations in order to affirm support of the principals of peace, universality, equal rights and self-determination of peoples embodied in the Charter and acclaimed by mankind, but violated by the United States.” The demonstrators began to assemble in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow early in the morning.
On one grassy knoll, a group calling itself the United States Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam built a 40-foot high tower of black cardboard tubing. They then attached a number of Liberation Front (Vietcong) flags, of blue and red with a gold star in the center.
At 12:20 P.M., the parade stepped off from Central Park South and the Avenue of the Americas, with Dr. King and the other leaders in the vanguard. They were surrounded by a group of parade marshals who linked hands to shield them from possible violence. From the hundreds of people lining the route of march came expressions of anger or support.
“I think it’s terrible, ” said Carl Hoffman, an engineer from Hartford, who stood at the corner where the march began.
Nearby, 20-year-old Estelle Klein, an office manager from Queens, gazed at the students, nuns, businessmen, veterans and doctors marching by and said: “I’d be out there too, but I don’t know, I just don’t think it’ll do any good.”
As the demonstrators moved east on 59th Street, they encountered bands of youths carrying American flags and hoisting placards with such slogans as “Bomb Hanoi” and “Dr. Spock Smokes Bananas.”
The bands of youths ran along the sidewalks paralleling the line of march, calling insults at the demonstrators.
Along one stretch of high-rise apartment houses on Lexington Avenue, eggs were dumped from a number of windows and many marchers had their clothes stained with red paint tossed by persons behind police barricades.
Guests Peer Out From the windows of the Barbizon-Plaza Hotel the Plaza and the St. Moritz, guests—a few still in pajamas—peered from their rooms at the throng moving out of the park. Most of these watchers neither applauded nor heckled.
Although the demonstrators were supposed to follow a line of march set up by the police, several thousand members of the Harlem contingent broke away and marched down Seventh Avenue through Times Square.
Several fistfights broke out in Times Square between angry motorists caught in a huge traffic jam and the paraders.
At 42d Street and Second Avenue, a fight broke out between several spectators and 19-year-old Edward Katz of Manhattan. Mr. Katz said later that he was trying to get to his car with his wife and baby when “a group of anti-peace people started knocking over the baby carriage.”
By 4 P.M., the last of the marchers had moved out of Central Park, leaving it looking like at disaster area. The paths and roadways were covered with litter.
There were several floats in the parade, including one on which Pete Seeger, the folk singer, rode with a number :of children. They sang folk songs like “This Land Is Your Land” as they rolled along the line of march.
Most of the marchers carried signs that had been authorized and printed by the Spring Mobilization Committee. Among the slogans were “Stop the Bombing,0 “No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger’! and, “Children Are Not Born to Burn.”
There were many unauthorized banners and placards, however. One, a bed sheet carried by three young men, bore in large black letters the words, “Ho Chi Minh is a Virgin.”
A minor scuffle between the police and the peace marchers broke out at 3 P.M. on the south side of 42d Street just west of First Avenue when some marchers tried to turn north.
Patrolmen, on foot moved into the crowd, trying to push them into line. Other policemen on horseback charged into the throng and helped turn the marchers back. Nearby, counter-demonstrators screamed: “Kill them, kill them.”
The speeches at the United Nations did not, start until after 2 P.M. While the demonstrators waited, filling the plaza from 47th to 42d Streets, they were entertained by folk singers.
An overflow crowd filled the side-streets west of First Avenue. More than 2,000 policemen were on hand at the United Nations to keep order, and to separate demonstrators from counter-demonstrators.
‘Be-in’ at the Park A “be-in” of several thousand young men and women preceded the start of the parade. They gathered on a rock but-cropping in the southeast corner of the Sheep Meadow, dancing and singing to the music of guitars, flutes and drums.
Many of the young people had painted their faces and legs with poster paint. The sweet smell of cooking bananas hung over the group.
Unidentified demonstrators set fire to an American flag held up on a flagstaff in the park before the march began, the police said. No arrests were made in connection with the incident.
After leaving Dr. Bundle’s office at the United Nations, Dr. King told newsmen that the “demonstration was “just a beginning of a massive outpouring of concern and protest activity against this illegal and unjust war.”
The speeches ended soon after 5 P.M. when a downpour drenched the plaza, converting it into a field of soggy clothing, peeling placards and deep puddles.
The rally area was almost completely deserted by 6:30, except for crews from the Sanitation Department who were cleaning up a mountain; of debris.
Speakers at the rally, in addition to Dr. King, included Floyd McKissick, national secretary of the Congress of Racial Equality, and Stokely Carmichael, leader of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
Mr. Carmichael, who spoke against background shouts of “black power,” described the United States’ presence in Vietnam as “brutal and racist,” and declared that he was against “drafting young men, particularly young black Americans.”
Mr. McKissick called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam and predicted that the turnout of marchers would bring “some positive, action” from Washington.
The Rev. James Bevel, who was national director of Spring Mobilization, said he would give President Johnson “one month to stop murdering those folks in Vietnam.”
“That’s all we’ll give him, one month to pull those guns^out,” Mr. Bevel said with his fists upraised. “If he doesn’t, we’ll close down New York City.” He did not elaborate.
Before leaving Central Park, Mr. Belafonte told newsmen that he was participating in the demonstration because “the war in Vietnam—like all wars—is immoral.”
The Great Annoyance of Dripping Wet Good Weather(b)
A Sight for Sore Eyes(a)
The Braggart Stray Cat(a)
The Night Parade of One Hundred Monsters(b)
The letters denote the speaker; there are two characters, Atashi (a), who primarily uses atashi as her pronoun but does use it interchangeably with watashi, and Boku (b), who uses boku as his pronoun, except on “The Sea and the Salamander”, where he uses ore.
Below the cut are complete English lyrics and romaji for the entire album. Thank you for your patience. After I receive METRONOME, that will be added to the bottom.
Ameblo 17/06/19 - I’ll put my life on the line in order to return the favour
I ranked fifteenth in AKB48′s 49th Single Senbatsu Sousenkyo!
Thank you so so much!!!
I had set forth with my fans to rank in the top nine in this year’s sousenkyo, so when I got announced at fifteen I meekly thought “this is it then…!”
There’s probably some fans who thought that way too.
It was disappointing but I was very happy to be able to get back into the senbatsu. At any rate, I’m glad I was able to convey my feelings in my speech and say that “I’ll put my life on the line in order to return the favour.”
I wanted to share my feelings of happiness and disappointment with somebody after the sousenkyo ended, but I couldn’t and I felt lonely and cried.
The fifteenth rank is really splendid. It’s in the senbatsu that everyone wants to get in. However I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to reach the goal my fans and I had set. I wasn’t able to make a disappointed face when faced with everyone’s smiling faces congratulating me on entering the senbatsu.
When I returned to the dressing room I came across people who were happy with achieving their goals as well as people shedding tears in disappointment. While I was feeling frustrated that I didn’t have anywhere I could unleash my feelings someone appeared who got me in touch with an old manager I had eight years ago when I first entered SKE48.
I didn’t know their phone number anymore so I never would have thought I’d be able to hear their voice again. In the instant that I heard their voice I became nostalgic, thinking about all the moments that voice had gotten angry at me or praised me. The tears wouldn’t stop.
“You did well. I’m always watching Akane’s work. Congratulations and good work.” When I heard that I broke into tears.
That voice I hadn’t heard for about seven years hadn’t changed a bit.
In the past two female managers had gotten very angry at me. I was raised strictly. However, there were times where they praised me, and during sad times they’d hug me as I cried.
I may have gone down the wrong path had the two of them not been there. Therefore I’m really grateful.
After that I got in contact with another former manager.
After that I got some congratulatory LINE messages from Rena-san and Airi, among others. When I called Rena and told her I was lonely, she told me, “You did well, good work. You’re not alone even if we’re far apart you know.”
It was a bit of a surprise but Airi told me, “It’s disappointing! It’s so disappointing! Are you serious!” lol
I thought the conversation would end with a congratulatory sticker like always but in a totally unexpected way she wrote that, so I was happy. I thought to myself that she somehow understands me lol
In this way I learned that there are people who understand me regardless of distance.
A lot of people I worked with at different times congratulated me as well, and while I was replying to them
It may be disappointing if I only look at the 48 group and how I wasn’t able to get to the position I wanted, however if you take a step back and look at the bigger pictures I’m but one of many people competing with others. Just I’ll be given some chances at some work by virtue of entering the senbatsu, which is very important, so to everyone who supported me and got me in, thank you so much!
You’ve once again given me this massive opportunity known as the senbatsu. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who is rejoicing!!!
For everyone who is feeling disappointed along with me, I’ll try to wash away that disappointment with all that I have!
I’ll do it so you can say in several decades from now on, “It’s because we did our best at that time that the present Akane-chan is always shining.”
This year’s sousenkyo was a lot of fun too!
I’m glad I fought along with everyone. Thank you so so much!
Churi got the 15th (parrot) rank during the year of the rooster! Isn’t that awesome?
[There’s a play on words here: if you say 1 (ichi) quickly and cut out the later (chi) of the word and follow it up with a 5 (go) I suppose you could reach a point where it sounds similar to inko, the word for parrot.]
My three days of negativity are over. I’ve probably had three days total where I’ve spit out my negativity this year. Negativity is negativity, however tomorrow is born from positivity so I’ll think positively!
I don’t want those who support me to feel like they regret supporting me.
My mission is to let those who support me feel a sense of pride in having supported me decades from now and for them not to think that their love towards me was wasted while they march into the future.
“I’ll put my life on the line in order to return the favour.”
I’ll do my best so that you can always love me!
I’ll treasure this awesome present for ranking fifteenth!!!
These things are great. Wonderful. Helpful. If you want to learn basic active energy movement and control find a good TAI CHI TEACHER.
No. Really. Two words that will change your craft:
Go find it.
A LITTLE BONUS
Qi kong/tai chi is known as moving meditation. So, there are also two side effects.
1. You learn a DEADLY martial art. So yay! Self defense.
2. If you are ADD or ADHD (like me) you also will have the benefit of the meditative state that you’ll slip into. And it will help you grow to being able to meditate in a still position or while doing yoga.