Monday, July 24, 2006

He who forgiveth, and is reconciled unto his enemy, shall receive his reward from God; for he loveth not the unjust doers --the Quran

Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

Saturday,July 22, 10:30 p.m. Whatever book I was in search of was forgotten when I happened to notice Hiroshima Diary, by Dr. Michihiko Yachiya, MD. I read first his postscript of 1952, then went immediately to the morning of August 6, 1945 and read clear through August 11th.

I no sooner managed to put the book back on the table when I realized I'd laid it next to a book on Kristallnacht.

Outside, the air was still quite warm and the Grove was filled with people. As always, there was a Babel of tongues from every continent. Among a group of young people chatting, I noticed the males wearing yamakahs.

This is what a summer evening in Tel Aviv or Beirut would have been like, if not for the war, I thought.

Families, friends, couples on dates, busy employees.

Not a single star was in the sky, not unusual in that we were in the middle of the city. The smattering of a few small clouds low overhead seemed to suggest a high blanket of clouds helping to hold the heat in.

As was the case on Thursday, however, a pleasant breeze tempered the heat.

The first book that had actually caught my eye after I had entered the store was a new biography of Patricia Neal.

Out of curiosity, I went directly to the section that dealt with the filming and the aftermath of The Day the Earth Stood Still in 1951.


With all the madness in the world, apart from the festive summer crowd oblivious to any war... I don't remember when I finally caught my breath after what I'd read of Hiroshima.

There's always a great deal more civility when foreigners outnumber Americans here. We have our good days, but they seem to stand out as exceptions rather than the rule.

I can't shake one word in particular from Hiroshima Diary: gembaku, which means "the place of suffering."

It melds with the news photos I saw earlier from the Middle East.

For every car heading home, an equal number were full of young people for whom the night was still young.

Everyone spoke of the heat today, and of how it compares to wherever they were from.

Amazing. The digital clock on the bank at the corner of Third and Fairfax says it is still 85 degrees.

The shimmering lights atop the Hollywood Hills assure me that it is.

Directly across the street from me is a billboard for the Hilton Hotels reading, "why do people have to sneeze before we acknowledge them?

Why indeed.

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