Radical Joy Revealed
December 2, 2015
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Radical Joy Revealed is a weekly message of inspiration about finding and making beauty in wounded places. We hope you'll enjoy these doorways into places that are both familiar and surprising, and we welcome your suggestions, stories, and photos. Click here to subscribe.

Hiroshima lantern ceremony
Every year on August 6 people gather in Hiroshima to place candles in paper lanterns and float them down the river in memory of those killed by the nuclear bomb.

It was a pilgrimage of reparation, undertaken by a few people who shouldered the burden of an act that had shaken the entire world. Be'sha Blondin, an elder of the Sahtu Got'ine Dene people of Canada's Northwest Territories, told the story at a session of the 2015 Parliament of the World's Religions in Salt Lake City this past October. She said that the people of her remote Arctic village had long believed that the early deaths of so many men had been caused by the uranium they had hauled on their backs in the 1940s from the mine on tribal land to barges that shipped it south. But they were horrified when they learned fifty years later that that same ore had supplied the lethal material for the bombs the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Determined to make amends to the Japanese people, a delegation of six Dene traveled to Hiroshima in 1998 on the fifty-third anniversary of the nuclear explosion to reach out in atonement and friendship.
 
This is a story about awakening to the ways in which the past casts a pall on the present, about assuming responsibility for suffering that one might not personally have been guilty of causing but in which one feels inescapably implicated, and it is about taking a difficult step to heal the relationship with another.
 
The delegation of Dene were welcomed warmly by the Japanese people they met with, but their act would have been beautiful and healing no matter what the outcome.
 
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Radical Joy for Hard Times is a global community of people dedicated to finding and making beauty in wounded places. Reconnecting with these places, sharing our stories of loss, and making acts of beauty there, we transform the land, reconnect people and the places that nourish them, and empower ourselves to make a difference in the way we live on Earth. 
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