Dear Family and Friends,
Our precious little planet is spinning through space into the final decade of the millennium. If you swoop down and hover over Framingham, Mass., you’ll see the Sudbury River flowing past a small cottage tucked in the woods close to the center of town. Drop down below tree line into the December darkness, and gaze through the second-floor window into the glow of our sanctuary/music room where Gale is looking at slides from Japan sent to us by Yuri, our Moscow friend and partner who will be living in this room for three months this spring. And where David is sprawled on a pillow gazing at a large photo of the earth from space, engaged in yet another episode of thoughtful introspection about his work, his past, and his future.
My (David’s) year-long internship, which began at Framingham’s community hospital, has been an engrossing adventure: an initiation into accepting serious responsibility for strangers, an exercise in gaining mastery of certain skills, and opportunity to discover and draw from deep wells of self-confidence I didn’t know I had. There have been profound moments, when I have offered hope to the hopeless, helped someone to die or to be born; gratifying moments, when I have accomplished a painful procedure without causing much pain; and unnatural moments, when I have watched, and even collaborated, in some of the worst that modern technological medicine is capable of inflicting. Internship is a humbling and grounding experience, and I am grateful for this year.
I (Gale) spent three months out of the past twelve living in the Soviet Union, and each day in this country of enormous change, suffering and hope was a privilege and a gift. Perhaps my greatest adventure was flying, without a visa, to the closed military city of Semipalatinsk to participate in a local grassroots anti-nuclear-testing protest sponsored by our Soviet medical student friends, winding up on the Soviet nuclear test site itself in a “secret city” that appears on no map, and interviewing the two-star general who commands the place!
Two days ago I (Gale) finished the manuscript of The Invisible Web; Social Transformation and the Peace Movement in the Soviet Union Today. (Editor’s note: the final title was The Invisible Threads: Independent Soviets Working for Global Awareness and Social Transformation, published by Seven Locks Press in 1991. See the “Books” tab for more information and reviews.) Book number one (Citizen Diplomats) will be released in a revised paperback edition next summer. Now I am happily exploring new directions in my USSR work—writing a guidebook for Soviet teachers on ecological education, rousting up enthusiasm for Earth Day 1990, leading ecology and empowerment workshops. David and I are continuing to expand GOLUBKA, our modest but fun project to furnish Soviet grassroots peace and ecology activists with bulk quantities of articles and book excerpts in Russian Translation…
As for the future, we are looking forward to this June, when we shall begin to paint on the limitless open canvas that awaits us and when the tempo of our work-dance duet will turn lively again. We have been thinking about our beautiful and troubled little planet, what it needs, and what we have to give. It is a time of large hope, great danger, amazing changes. Our thoughts often return to our community, our intersecting network of family and friends that laces and circles the globe, and how precious our connections are to one another. We love you all. May you feel loved by many, and when the big tick of the cosmic clock comes on January 1, may you feel part of something great and beautiful
Love, joy, blessings, strength and courage to you all—
Gale and David