Just Lynn

One woman. One name. One hell of an attitude!


Written By: witchypo - Jun• 07•11

‘So,’ my daughter asked, ‘how’s that Jappageddon thing going…?’
‘Japa-what?!’ I sputtered, even as I realized that, without cable, she wouldn’t know specifics like the name of the nuclear plant involved, but must have listenned to what I’d said about the meltdown in Japan and my concern for what it’s doing to the Earth. ‘Good one!’ I chuckled, apreciating her dark wit. Before I could think to answer, though, my train of thought was derailed by a shriek.
I snapped my head around and I to find my granddaughter fighting to escape her car seat with that ferral ferocity native only to maniacs and two year olds. Face scrunched into a mockery of cherubic beauty, body arched upward into her harness, she babbled and growled while clawing at the straps. Then, she threw herself sideways and reached out – fingers splayed and straining – until, aparently reaching the limit of her strength and endurance, she trembled dramatically and collapsed.
I checked traffic and then her for some sign of life. All tension and expression had left her form, though, and she lay deadly in her seat.
‘What’ll it mean to her?’ I wondered, on the heels of her mother’s question. If she’s raised in a world where everything’s engineered, processed, and poisoned by radiation and hydrocarbons, what were her chances of reaching adulthood without some cancerous disease ruining her prescious body?
‘Slim to none,’ was my gut’s response and tears welled in my eyes, bluring the details specific to my granddaughter’s face so that I could have been looking at that of any child. 
‘What’ll it mean to them?’ I re-posed the question, expanding my consciousness to include all caregivers and children in the world. I felt adult hopes, fears, and regrets. I felt a child’s trust and… and how betrayed they’d feel if they understood how our choices in this situation affect them… the horror our shortsightedness would cause in them…I choked on grief and impotent rage.
Just then, though, as if sensing she had an audience, the baby lost control of her muscles and the corners of her perfectly bowed lips twitched up into a perfectly impish grin. She craked her eyes open and dared a peek. Blue eyes met blue eyes. ‘That arm thing…’ she seemed, mutely, to say. ‘Was that too much…? ‘Cause I wasn’t sure…’
I laughed, and when she did too, I returned my attention to the road. ‘As well as the end of the world can be expected to go,’ I told my daughter, and changed the topic. Used to me ranting about politics, polution, and ‘acceptable losses’, she seemed surprised, but content to talk about other things. Driving home alone later, though, I couldn’t help wondering how long we had before we’d see the affects this meltdown was having on us. I watched late evening sunlight slanting down on Niagara’s farms and vineyards and my mind wandered…

** I’m a kid watching t.v. Images Hiroshima and Nagasake victims, blinded and burned, flash infront of me me. I’m at work. I jump online to check the situation in Fukushima and read about the evacuation zone they’ve established around the plant. Shocked, I forget where I am. ‘It’s too small!’ I gasp. ‘Even 50 miles would be ‘too close’!’ I’m a teenager. It’s ‘take your kid to work’ day. My stepfather and I hang out and talk ‘slowpokes’, ‘half lives’, and ‘radiation sickness’ with the boys in the bio lab. As we head toward the cafeteria for lunch, I dip my hand into a pool we pass but recoil when he tells me its a ‘holding tank’ for spent fuel rods. I’m a young parent, reading a book of legends and myths to my kids. We read about a woman who worked very hard to develop spiritually but who, given the chance to advance to the level of a ‘Buddha’, declines because she’s herd the cries of others less fortunate than her and wants to help them first.**  

I wondered if any of the politicians and industry leaders making choices about the Daiichi plant had ever herd of Kuan Yin(?) My gut told me that even if they had, though, there was still a better chance of a goddess suddenly appearing to save us than of their ever setting their egos and greed aside to heed the cries of others.
Of course, I told myself they (and their counterparts in other countries) were likely ‘good people’ who’d just gotten used to compromising in order to leverage their own immediate success against the likelyhood they’d ever have to see or answer for the choices they’ve made to get or keep it.Then, I remembered reading they’d raised the ‘acceptable’ levels of exposure to radiation for school children in Japan and tought again of Hiroshima… Chernobyl… the Bikini Atoll…
I wished those policy makers luck explaining their choices to their loved ones, wiped hot tears from my cheeks, and prayed to Kuan Yin and any other god that’d listen to save us from ourselves.

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