Odyssey of the 8th Fire is the true tale
of an epic pilgrimage for the Earth
across North America

by people of all colors and faiths.

  - A creative non-fiction book in online evolution - ◊
© - 2007 by Steven McFadden

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Odyssey of the 8th Fire,
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"You can never change things by resisting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete."

- Buckminster Fuller

Day 89 — Tuesday, September 19, 1995 - Another 35 miles passed under the feet of the Sunbow 5 Walkers on a bright, sunny day. The string of notably hot days stretches back to the beginning of our walk.

"We've been talking with lots of people in as we go along in Tennessee," Tom Dostou observed when we checked in by phone. "Everybody says it's the hottest summer they can ever remember. It sure seems hot to us as we go along. No doubt about that."

Indeed. Page 1 of yesterday’s New York Times (9/18/95) reported on the latest scientific consensus: "The earth has entered a period of climatic change that is likely to cause widespread economic, social and environmental dislocation over the next century..."

The Times said the report was based on the findings of 2,500 top scientists from around the world, all collaborating on a United Nations panel.

Global climate experts said they were more certain than ever that the evidence shows global climate change is indeed in progress. They said that at least some of the global warming is due to human action -- specifically the burning of coal, oil, and wood.

Based on this measurable warming, the UN panel bluntly forecast an increase in extreme heat waves, droughts, forest fires, major storms, and floods.


Today, under threat, both The Washington Post and The New York Times published the text of the Unabomber Manifesto (9/19/95).

Despair - Image by George Crux

The manifesto was an eight-page, 35,000-word diatribe against technology and the modern world, written by the anonymous Unabomber. In his manifesto he blamed both the Right and the Left for our planetary ills, and he announced that he no longer had hope that the problems could be addressed.

The joint publication of this manifesto by the Post and the Times fulfilled the deadly demand of the the Unabomber. Over the years from 1978, the Unabomber had killed three people and injured 23 others with bombs he sent through the mail. Now he was threatening to do it again unless his manifesto was published.

In his manifesto the Unabomber decried the state of the world. He wrote: "The Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.

“They have greatly increased the life-expectancy of those of us who live in 'advanced' countries, but they have destabilized society, have made life unfulfilling, have subjected human beings to indignities, have led to widespread psychological suffering (in the Third World to physical suffering as well) and have  inflicted severe damage on the natural world…

The Unabomber concluded his manifesto hopelessly: “There is no way of reforming or modifying the system so as to prevent it from depriving people of dignity and autonomy.”

We Sunbow pilgrims hold to a different view, a view of peace. That's what keeps us striding forward day after day. “We have hope. We always have hope.” We have heard Grandfather Commanda say this a dozen times by now. It is a seed thought among us.


The walkers ended this trying day by pitching camp in the main city park of Clifton, close by the flowing waters of the Tennessee River.

The mayor of Clifton came out to greet them, as did many members of the local Rotary Club, and just lots of townspeople in general.

Kelly's Meat Market gifted the walkers with pounds of food for a big charcoal-grilled dinner, and The Rotary chipped in to help with expenses. The local Hardee's invited the walkers to come by for breakfast in the morning.

Clifton offered the Sunbow 5 walk a warm welcome, with spontaneous and generous hospitality for a large circle of unknown wayfarers.


Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden

Read Day 90 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire

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Odyssey of the 8th Fire Copyright © 2006-2008 by Steven McFadden