I see a branch of Hooters is soon going to open in my hometown. Fast food, pitchers of beer, hot pants. I guess I’m not their target client. Every day I realise anew that here in The Warren I have created a haven for myself in a world gone mad. Kebab and chicken outlets surround me. The pavements are greasy with last night’s mistakes and the charge for two hours parking in town this morning is the price of a decent sized jar of Manuka honey. The future is glowering on the periphery of my vision. I see it is likely I will grow old in a world smelling of pavement pee and badly brought up chickens, burned to a carcinogenic crisp and sold to drunken children. But can I do anything about it? No. So here in Allie’s fantastic world, just a few moments away from the above, all is serene. Just like the fine line between the 3rd and 4th dimensions in fact.The close encounter letter still sits behind the clock, pending a decision but today I have more serious thoughts on my mind.
In a week’s time Tottie and I will be heading off to West Wales to cook for(and be loved by) a group of children who have cancer and are in need of respite care and a chance to boost their immune systems with good food and good air in unpolluted countryside. These are some of the children of Chernobyl.
The world’s worst nuclear disaster happened in April 1986 at Chernobyl in the north of Ukraine, about 12 miles south of the border with Belarus. Before the accident, Belarus was known as the garden of Russia and vegetables were the country’s main export. The accident put an end to that. Thousands of villages and towns within the 70km exclusion zone were lost. Over 2 million children were exposed to radioactivity. The blood streams of the population now contain large doses of heavy metals such as Caesium 137, which destroys the immune system and internal organs. The accident happened over 20 years ago, so it is the next generation of children I will be cooking for. How many more generations will manifest cancers, leukemia and other radiation related illnesses from that one nuclear accident?
The wasteland and the people affected seem to have been forgotten by the politicians anxious to convince us that nuclear energy is the only way forward in a world hungry for energy. The truth about the Chernobyl disaster has been watered down and the numbers massaged by many ‘interested’ parties, The International Atomic Energy Agency included. The people on the ground tell a different story.
The Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline is a charity set up by one man, Mr Victor Mizzi, who discovered the plight of these forgotten people and vowed to do something about it. The charity has brought 50,000 children over to the UK for respite care since 1992.
I will be assisting in the kitchen for a week, as I did last year. It is exhausting but very satisfying work. Mainly I peel vegetables and wash up. I also make pounds of garlic butter, which the children love and which does them so much good. The children are innocent in a way ours no longer are and they love Tottie. Every evening, after supper, we gather in a candlelit room and each of us in turn says what it is that we’ve enjoyed most about the day.Then we sing a mantra. The children lie on cushions and are totally relaxed and unselfconscious about what is going on. A spiritual energy builds up in the room that we all wallow in. The children don’t speak English and are accompanied by two adults, a doctor and an interpreter. At the end of the week I hand over my paring knives and Marigold gloves to another volunteer, wonder over the difference in their faces that a week has brought, then head for home with gratitude singing in my ears.
Google Pripyat if you are having a bad day and see what it is possible for mankind to bring about through technological progress. The modern world is taking on a strange vibe. People are wandering around in cheap thin clothing, looking like urchins. They move in packs, following the same ratruns with lost eyes. When will they awaken? Cities are becoming ever more crowded, each taking on more and more the characteristics of the other. Is this what is really happening or is it the sad perspective of a woman who has had her day?
Maybe, but this woman also has a dream. Something important is stirring in the mycelium underlay of the collective unconscious. Slowly, in our hierchical system, realisation is dawning. Drawing to the surface every moment is the underlying urge for psychic order, unity and totality. Nature will win in the end, whatever mankind in its blindness throws at it. When the fragments of the collective hologram are joined, the whole will shine with peace and love and quality and then, realising our brotherhood and our collective vulnerability, we will learn to walk the earth as if clothed in gold, making sure that the risk of a Cherobyl will never again be allowed to happen on our watch. And the parasitic growths will fall off our healing collective body and Hooters will lie on its back in the dust, scrabbling helplessly for a hold that will not materialise, because we collectively, will have seen what it all means.