What Goes Round Comes Round: My Nuclear Life, Part One

1:30 AM.

I’ve been lying in bed sleepless, once again. Last night insomnia held me too. And the night before that. As if I am suspended in life, unsure whether or how to go on. What has come back is what haunted me when young, very young, the specter of the Bomb destroying life on this planet. Back then I couldn’t sleep either, terrified that if I did, I wouldn’t wake up in the morning; that somehow consciousness was required to stay alive. Desperate, I hoped that if I kept my eyes open and glued on the prize — staying alive — then I would. To say that I was “afraid to die” would be a massive understatement.

I know this survival strategy sounds convoluted. It does to me, too. But the mind of a child is magical. As if one can control what happens.

Ever since World War II, our childish civilization has been underpinned with magical thinking: that we can control the uncontrollable: nuclear fission.

So here I am, again, in the middle of the night, thinking on these things.

As a girl, my life as Chicken Little remained essentially fearful, estranged, and puzzled (how could others be so carefree?) throughout my growing years, and on into my 20s and 30s. Though I went to college, married and had children like “normal,” I wasn’t normal, and I knew it. Always, this specter of the Bomb haunted. I knew that nuclear energy had changed the nature of the game, and that sooner or later it would win.

In my late 30s and 40s I jumped into peace activism, dedicating my life to what we called then, quaintly, “nuclear freeze” — until I realized that my efforts had made me part of the problem. Without realizing it, I had morphed into violent peace activist, furious at those who “just didn’t get it.”

In the winter of 1983-84, I changed the nature of my game. Rather than confront others with what I knew, I focused on the life of a single living rose in my living space (a tiny yurt in the Wyoming mountains) all winter long. Whenever one rose died, I would buy another from the florist, and nurture it too, from tight bud through spiralling beauty to fragile, full-petaled droop. I had returned to the magical thinking of the child. Somehow, if I could gently embrace a single red rose all winter long, then the world would not end.

Last summer, while driving the roads of Idaho with my old childhood friend Dick High, he told me that the winter of 1983-84 was the most dangerous in the history of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. That we all very nearly perished. I can’t remember what book he had read that told him so, but what he said affirmed my strange behavior during that winter.

Sometime during the following year I had a conversation which changed me, yet again. Though I no longer spoke in public about nukes, I did so in private. And one day my friend Todd, hearing me once again bitterly bemoan the state of our world, responded: “Ann, it will never happen. The Bomb is not going to go off.”

I loved and respected Todd, and felt puzzled at her certainty. But what she said switched me; now I clung to her view, like a life raft. Over the following months, I began to realize that it was absolutely, stunningly, astonishingly miraculous that the Bomb had not gone off, given the hair-trigger nature of tens of thousands of nuclear missiles aimed East and West, and the human propensity for accidents. At the time, I chalked it up to “divine intervention.”

Years later, I learned that ETs were actually the ones who had saved us. That they have prevented, or deflected many accidental nuclear launches, and perhaps even some deliberate ones. That they have also cleaned up much of the radiation we create. (Search channelings from for Mike Quinsey’s Salusa and Mathew Ward).

Cut to now. When the Bomb is going off. When it’s happening. Four reactors out of six at Fukushima, so far. And ETS have not saved us.

And yet, and yet, the story is not over. ETS have been seen in stunning numbers over Japan, both before and after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. What will be the final disposition of this latest human-caused catastrophe in our Faustian attempts to control the uncontrollable?

I now look upon my nuclear fears as a child as foreknowing, when young, of what my life would bring. I see the contract I made as a soul to be here during this terrible time. To offer service, and solace, to others during the nuclear nightmare.

But first, I would have to transform my own terror of dying.

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