I have just finished reading 2 books. It seems that I don't read as many fiction novels as I use to. I think it is because real stories, my favorite is history, are just more intriguing to me. Plus the dynamics of human interaction intrigues me.
The first book...which I started months ago and put down for a while is The Port Chicago Mutiny by Robert L. Allen. Port Chicago was a naval ammunition base located on the Sacramento River near the entrance into San Francisco Bay, thirty miles northeast of SF. Not far from my house. Only black servicemen loaded the ships with ammo. On July 17, 1944 there was an explosion and 320 victims died. When the servicemen would not go back to loading the ships, they were charged with mutiny. The charge still stands. My grandfather was stationed there which is why I picked up the book. He was white and therefore not loading the ships. Once or twice he talked about it, so I was vaguely aware of what happened there. After reading the book I began to think about how a group of people can feel that they are superior to another group. It kinda boggles my mind. I can only guess (and come darn close) to the reason no whites were loading the ships.
The other book is a book by Dalai Lama, and no I am not converting. I just like to read about other beliefs, so that I can understand where people are coming from. This is not the first book I have read by the Dalai Lama. I don't confess to understand everything is speaks about. I do know that there is a real calmness to what he says. One of the things I got from the book is that is we need to think of ourselves as a whole...not separate, or we lose ourselves. I look at the homeless people here on 7th street, and I know that it is the perfect example of what that means. If we allow something to become so important such as drugs or alcohol we separate from our mind and bodies and become non-existent. I don't kid myself that in this world it is darn hard to follow what he teaches, but I do know that what he teaches in if only in the smallest way followed is makes the world better. That said, there is something good in all beliefs that can be applied to make the world better. I hope to get back to playing my NA flute over my vacation. That has become my meditation.
The next book I am reading is Sundown towns. I went to high school in Medford, OR which happened to be one of those towns.