Tule Lake Pilgrimage: I sit in my dorm room after midnight, our last night of the Pilgrimage. I knew when I set out to come that this experience would be life changing. I have yet to discover how much so. This will be revealed in the days, and months, to follow. What I know now is that my heart has been opened wide by the courage, resilience, and love of this community. A community that is healing itself from the inside out, one conversation at a time. A community I feel part of, included, and welcomed into with open hearts and minds.
The beautiful faces of the elders who endured imprisonment in this so-called “relocation” camp, who had their lives turned completely upside down and inside out because of their Japanese ethnicity, reflect the hardship and the joy of long, fully lived lives. They remind me of my Dad, my aunts and uncles who did not have to suffer the loss of their livelihoods and belongings because they lived inland. However, they did endure racism, confusion, ostracism, war on the front lines and the challenge of making sense out of a senseless time, perhaps the darkest in the history of the U.S.
I miss my Dad deeply. I feel a deeper understanding of him as the result of this amazingly incredible pilgrimage.
Now its time for bed!
Genki Sista, Monique