Thursday, November 5, 2009
October 22/2009 WAKING THE GODS
Walked out of my hotel in the morning and across the road there was a police car...so maybe last night it was "undercover police after all?"....went for a coffee and returned to my hotel to meet up with my friend. We made plans to hike up to the waterfall. He showed up with a motorcycle- NEVER been on a motorcycle....was nervous about it; but he assured me that he was a good driver and that i would be safe. Put on my helmet extra tight- a childhood friend of mine died when she fell backwards off a motorcycle...so my whole life I have avoided them!
Found myself winding through the streets up to the waterfall - cutting off my friend's breathing as I clung to him so tight! The waterfall in Katsuura is majestic and the forest around it is jungle like-green, lush and untouched.....like stepping back in time! We hiked up to the shrines and temple...where i made a wish at the temple by pulling on a rope to ring a bell...which is suppose to wake the gods....wishing for dolphins and whales to be safe. After my wish I turned to my friend with a satisfied smile....his smile faded as he grabbed for a cigarette...and I sensed that he was suspicious about the nature of my wish and that is when i began to think he was involved somehow with the dolphin slaughter-it was as though we had stolen each others thoughts.
We headed back to Katsuura for lunch. On the way, he pulled into two hot springs he wanted me to know about...told him how ironic..... had gone to one last night......he went very quiet as though he knew. At lunch...while eating a bowl of rice....he seemed relax enough that i decided to bring up again the "dolphins"...so in my most casual voice i asked if he had seen any dolphins in the Cove that morning (now realize that was too direct a question). At that moment....his face began to change and his hand began to shake (not sure if from anger or from mercury poisoning) which held his chopsticks. He looked at me very deeply and said "I know WHY you are here.." he seemed bottled up with anger.... was caught off guard...feeling exposed. He went on to say...that his uncle is a harpooner and that he is very proud of him. After he calmed down, we made a deal that we would spend the day trying to change each other's mind....
The whole day we roared around on his motorcycle....(had him take me to the Cove - only that he went by it much too fast). We stopped at a surf spot too...and a Japanese surfer became really hostile when he found out why I was there....he stated throwing things around and I was afraid that he was going to hit me in the head. Later, asked my friend why he said anything....and he told me that he wanted me to see how people feel....and that i should take that as my warning because it was just "the tip of the iceberg". After that, he took me to a park where there is a statue of a Right whale....mentioning this is where they apologize for killing whales. After that we took a walk along a wooded trail looking up in the trees for monkeys .... then my friend stopped, frozen, looking out to sea, there were boats in a circle. Did not have any binoculars....so it was hard to see what was happening. He said the boats looked too small to be killing dolphins...but he also added that he had never seen anything like that.. And he talked to himself in Japanese...while I was punching the air, saying "what, dolphins! Let me at them!". It was so far from shore and we were so high on a rocky cliff, it was impossible to know what was going on. We then drove by the marina and he pointed out that the dolphin killing boats were docked and that i could put my mind at rest. But of course I could not! In the marina, he also pointed out some tiny pools where they keep dolphins who are "Just getting trained". He also mumbled..."never in a million years did he think that he would ever be hanging out with someone against the slaughter"..... from time to time I would catch him hitting his hand to his head...hope i did not get him into too much trouble.
At the Marina, noticed how scary looking some of the fishermen were! A loss of compassion showed in their faces....