March 23, 2016 Live from the road

Edinburgh

Reported by Devashishu Torpy 4.0 km

Our day begins with tea and coffeee at the Holyrood Palace cafe

Alan Spence introduces the runners to members of the Scottish Parliament

From the left: Malcolm Chisholm (Labour), Willie Rennie (Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland), Michael Russell (SNP) and our very good friend Alison Johnstone (Green Party).

Bill Kidd (SNP) also joins us

Jean Urquhart (Independent) takes time out of a busy day to greet us, wish us well and present us with some delectable local fudge

Our next appointment is at the Scottish Poetry Library

Julie Johnstone is the Librarian here in this very peaceful sanctuary of words and poems

Aonghas Macneacail is Scotland's Gaelic Bard. He reads his translation of Peace Poem by Sri Chinmoy:

PEACE POEM BY SRI CHINMOY

O dreamers of peace, come.
Let us walk together.
O lovers of peace, come.
Let us run together.
O servers of peace, come.
Let us grow together.

TRANSLATION BY AONGHAS MACNEACAIL

Luchd bruadar sìthe, thigibh.
Sràideamaid còmhla.
Luchd gràdhach sìthe, thigibh.
Ruitheamaid còmhla.
Luchd frithealaidh sìthe, thigibh.
Cinneamaid còmhla.

Christine de Luca is the Edinburgh Makar (Poet Laureate). She reads her own poem in her native Shetland dialect and a special Celtic blessing:

Deep Peace to You
(a traditional Celtic blessing)

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the Light of the World to you.

Julie reads a poem she selected from the library, a poem by an Iraqi poet:

A candle in a long street .....

Alan Spence reads Pablo Neruda's 'Keeping Quiet':

Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still
for once on the face of the earth,
let's not speak in any language;
let's stop for a second,
and not move our arms so much.
It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines;
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.
Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would not look at his hurt hands.
Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victories with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.
What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about...
If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with
death.
Now I'll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Thank you to all our poets. This meeting reinspired us. Peace can be expressed in so many ways - and poets have a unique way of expressing the inexpressable.

Our next appointment is at the Scottish Storytelling Centre higher up along the Royal Mile.

David Campbell is one of Scotland's finest storytellers. He regales us with stories and songs and wonderful humour.

He relates the story of the friendship between Jesse Owens and Luz Long, two athletes and rivals at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Owens was African American and Luz was German. In the Long Jump Luz Long gave Jesse Owens advice which enabled Jesse Owens to win and accomplish an unprecedented 4 gold medals.

In the north of Edinburgh a warm welcome is awaiting us.

The runeers in a holding pattern while the children are assembled.

Vera from Portugal

The students and staff at this wonderful school showed incredible support for us

We are really inspired by the national initiative in schools in which each child will run one mile a day!

Mukul from Israel leads the runners up the Royal Mile to the City Chambers

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Right Honourable Donald Wilson, greets us

Donald Wilson is a runner, and will compete in his second London Marathon in a couple of weeks

He shows avid interest in our efforts and supports us wholeheartedly

Fiona Ross is a champion Scottish ultramarathoner. She won the Sri Chinmoy 24 hour race in Tooting Bec in 2014, beating all the other women and men in the race!

Torch carried by
Albena Margeritova (Bulgaria), Balavan Thomas (Great Britain), Devashishu Torpy (Great Britain), Gints Peleckis (Latvia), Gordana Petrovčić (Croatia), Ilona Svoboda (Czech Republic), Janani Spence (Great Britain), Mukul Fishman (Israel), Paramanyu Lebedev (Russia), Rasmivan Collinson (Great Britain), Satyagraha Vladimir Salnicov (Moldova), Shyamala Stott (Great Britain), Vera Marques (Portugal).  
Photographers
Paramanyu Lebedev, Satyagraha Vladimir Salnicov
The torch has travelled 4.0 km in Edinburgh.

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