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Every Day Acts of Peace

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Silicon Valley, Sri Lanka, China 1997: Be Wrong Then Anything Is Possible

I am having dinner with my friends from all over the world.
I am introducing them to each other 
and to my favorite Chinese restaurant in Silicon Valley.
We all arrived here in this valley of silicon 
from oceans, mountains, desert and city cultures.
We have in common 
an appetite for conversation about our shared planet -
our world of eco-systems and eco-logical events.
Our attention turns to talking 
about last year's bombing of the Asian Central Bank of Ceylon, 
and the World Trade Center twin towers 
in the Sri Lankan city of Colombo.

Colombo's twin towers have been hit twice by terror -
this latest bombing physically hurt 

one thousand, four hundred and ninety-one people,
and at the same time injured the whole world 
through invisible seismic waves of grief striking shocks.
On the mental plane of existence 
this outwardly expressed rage is logically planned, 
with a view to cripple the Asian and world economy.
A series of outrages exploded as attacks on strategic financial districts.
In the last couple of years bombings of bus, train, building and villages
have skyrocketed sudden mass hurt into people's lives.

Falling deep into silence 
we focus on the menus in front of us,
and collectively decide to order the hottest, spiciest meal possible -
spicy foods expel toxins, increase the flow of Chi, 
and boost health within the human immune system.
There is an ancient Chinese saying 
that the lungs are the masters of life's vital forces 
and strongly benefit from eating spices -
certain blockages of the head will pass more quickly 
if you eat onion, pepper, ginger and garlic.
Given the planetary increase of people hurting people, 
we feel the least we can do is act responsibly 
and eat healthy to clear our own mental and emotional obstacles.

Above the lungs is the throat, 
and below the lungs are the heart and liver.
Lungs are in charge of inhalation and exhalation, the eon flux 
of the immortal and mortal coming ins and going outs of our existence.
When in proper working condition 
heavenly forces descend waste downward,
so we do not wallow within our own toxins.
Spirit descends, from our upper body, into our lower body 
creating movement so the human spirit is freed
and does not become encased in it's own waste ...
trapping our Selves in a body of our own excesses ...
our own excess built up pent up mental and emotional hells.

All history is recorded somewhere, on some wall,
be it bathroom, elevator, street or prison.
Movements are captured on video surveillance cameras, 
then perceived by some voyager’s eyes and interpreted with some imagination.
Whether on computers, paper or stone the history of life is captured 
within the sounds of writing or reading the written word.
Voices record musical histories singing out, chanting instrumental stories 
told as human passages to be passed on from generation to generation.

Human hands have also forever painted, carved, sculpted 
and shaped stories alive eternally inside of caves, churches, teepees, 
temples, huts, phone booths, museums and mosques.
We all collectively experience the provisions of prosperous times 
and the privations of poverty stricken times -
all is recorded and archived
so how is it that humanity sometimes forgets their past?
How do we constantly manage to repeat the pain
of our past history in the present,
over and over again it seems.

From the restaurant menu we order noodles in a sauce so fiery 
it rivals the heat of our conversation.
I suggest bitter foods, 
to clear any stagnation in our hearts, 
activated by the hot topics under discussion.
Restless dream filled sleep, 
feeling psycho logically emotional 
are symptoms of a overheated heart -
eating bitter fruits and vegetables will calm 
and restore peace to the heart, mind and body.
Every part of the human body is interrelated, 
our five senses monitor imbalances 
to evidently predict our future dis-ease .
Our senses communicate to us 
when recurrence of a specific discomfort occurs -
pointing out the obvious 
so we can act to first locate the root of the disease, 
then from there treat it.

In Silicon Valley technology is being reinvented on a global level.
The population of workers is international.
We are constantly considering how to define the effects of globalization.
We choose to channel our energies into simultaneous evolutionary development ...
of all people, in all places, all growing together 
all committed to increasing health and well being in everyone, everywhere.
After all, the root meaning of the word "globalization" 
is "freedom and ease of global relationships, worldly liaisons of nations".
Freedom is the evolutionary right of individuals to heal their own bodies 
in stillness and peace, motion and business ...
heal the governing forces within our systems emotional, mental, physical ...
heal the politics of material and spiritual planes of existence ...
prehistorically, the business of Labyrinthula meiosis and mitotic astral rays in genesis.

My friend's eyes are watering and his mouth is burning, 
but he exclaims that there is nothing wrong, he is feeling comfortable.
Between tears he says;
"We all may not hold, in the same way,
our chopsticks, spoons, knives and forks ...
and we all may not embrace in the same way
identical beliefs ...
or make the same sounds come out of our mouths, 
with the same meanings at the same time ...
but we all grasp the same challenge 
to create peace within ourself, 
wage the war within with our own internal fire."

As a computer programmer and computer language code writer,
on a daily basis our friend fights with defining 
and demarcating our delimitative human boundaries.
Daily he searches our planetary and other worldly sense,
he searches our galactic extent, and life's definitions, 
he seeks understanding our eternity 
through enlightening himself by learning and attempting to illuminate 
our sensual based codes, symbols, images, words, text and languages.

He lives in a world constructed from his mental points of view,
his heart has not been given enough energy over the years to fully flourish.
Recovered now, cooled down from his temporary over heated state of passion,
he continues;
"We all have vocabulary in our own languages that express unity,
delineate cooperation, understanding and speak support in mass and numbers."

I pass my friend a napkin so he can wipe his tear full eyes,
and I pour him some more tea to soothe his burning soul.
He continues expressing himself after the fire in his belly is satiated,
but then asks;
"Is it wrong to be committed to being right?"

We are silent, stilled within each of our own internal intensity.

The waiter brings us some fresh hot tea,
and with all politeness continues his serving ritual.

My friend breaks our silence by asking us if we believe opinions are provable?
If based on knowledge and experience that is provable,
can opinions or beliefs actually be proved right, or wrong?

If life experience can be proved to be right, or wrong -
then is it better to be right, or wrong?


Before any of us have wrapped our minds around the duality of this question,
our waiter begins to answer these questions 
in utmost certainty.
The waiter is an elder, a peasant from the Chinese countryside, 
a valley whose geology most certainly must be composed partially of silicon.
He worked his whole life to be able to immigrate to California.
Here, now, today he stands on his own two feet proudly before us -
as his own man, independent, 
pouring out the benefit of his life experience to us.
Encased within the dignity of his self assurance, 
patient and steady at the side of our table,
he answers our friend's eternal questions;
"It is better to be wrong than right,
because if you are wrong then you have learned something."

The elder waits on us, refills our teacups

then kindly and patiently guides us through suggestion,
"By practicing consideration,
the consideration of the probability of being wrong,
your world is opened up to any and all kind of potential.
Practice the art of consideration,

consider being wrong, then any possibility can be considered,
consider being wrong, then consider anything is possible."

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Sometime after 1485 Veronica Gambara wrote;
“War is waged so fiercely that reason swiftly takes her leave.”

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Los Angeles 2001: Who I Was, Who I Am, Who I Am Yet To Be

The rooms in some people’s houses contain cocoons.
The custom of some Mesoamerican people is to raise silkworms at home.
The worms take almost one year to raise.
In the month of March the butterflies lay their eggs on mats.
At five months the little worms come out of their eggs,
and are fed Mora leaves by their family of humans.
The smaller worms are sorted from the larger ones,
so the big do not eat the little, prey harm on them.

Maybe we are as unique as we think,
and maybe we are part of a picture larger than ourselves.
We are coming out of the dark, ages it seems, 
that we have been passing through the evolutionary seasons of our souls.
Humanity naturally mirrors our painful glories and joyful triumphs -
we all created the stage that we perform our parts on.
I wonder if anything I have said or done during my life has contributed to hatred.

It is not easy to raise silkworms in your home; they must be well cared for.
Three months after the worms open their eggs they begin to drool,
and secrete silk deposits that require immediate cleaning.
Silkworms must be well nourished, or they do not give enough -
or what they give is lacking quality, not functional for viable social use.

We are buds cast out of branches; 
grow to be leaves cast off the trees to fly scattered on the wind.
We land in time for rebirth, during the harshness of winter, 
and then we are recycled back up the tree to become life again 
springing forth the new season’s blooms.

I feel planted to the same spot, looking at the same view-
no matter how much I have traveled I am in front of my mirror, me.
I see only what appears to me, appears to be me – 
my restructured harmony -
past-societies of aging former-Selves, 
images all remembered within my bodied-structure -
all my internal-civilization updating to reflect my potential, 
my blended-harmonious whole.

My past no longer exists, 
my present is now, 
my future is not yet created.
More and more, time as I have known it
has ceased to exist -
my experience of my Self has become pure existence.

The world mirror echoes back to me 
my world of Self-image 
That, I ask, That, I am ready, to see.
My mirror image is only part illusion, 
my right side is reflected as my left, and what is left is right -
when I view my Self-centered at my core I am symmetry balanced.

I command my house to shatter -
implode my ceiling, my floor, my walls, 
all doors open none closed, 
my mirror shape shifts my illumination clear -
all thresholds show me the images of my Self - 
who I always was, 
who I always am, 
who I always am and was always destined to be -
who I was, who I am, who I am yet to be.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Sometime after 1207 Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi wrote;
“One went to the door of the beloved and knocked.
A voice asked, “Who is there?”
He answered, “It is I.”
The voice said, “There is no room for Me and Thee.”
The door was shut.
After a year of solitude and deprivation he returned and knocked.
A voice from within asked, “Who is there?”
The man said, “It is Thee.”
The door was opened for him.”


Image Credit: Karin Lisa Atkinson 
Self Reflection, "Self Seen In The Forest And In Each Tree"

Los Angeles, Beslan North Ossetia 2004: Children Teach Us Humanity

Torrential clairvoyant images of fearful faces and voices fallen silent,
then suddenly, angry faces and voices growing louder.
I hear,
“We are here!”,
the children’s voices cry before the bomb goes off.
They were here in this world praying to be found,
now they are not here they seem lost to this world –
but what is found in the heart is never lost.
Children are created by our hearts, are born, grow and live by the heart –
a simple organ that can so tenderly explode with frailty.

This is not the first time a family of children has been lost,
nor is it the first time a town of children have died.
Does it really matter anymore whose bomb it was –
why and who made it, sold it, transported and exploded it?
What does matter is that this behavior, these decisions, were justified by excuses;
and we support these acts when we do nothing to stop the excesses.

Many people have lost their innocence.
Killers were once babies innocent until violated.
We ripped their innocence from their flesh and blood.
We tore their consciousness from their skull and bones.
We filled their organs up with hatred until all they could see was pain.
Until all they could create, was pain, all they had ever been taught to share, was pain.

We live in powerful times.
We embody powerful feelings, thoughts, actions and words.
We are expanding our mindfulness of what we create and teach our children,
so that hatred and pain are not generational, not passed down to keep us down.
Compassion rebuilds fractured legs so that they can continue walking the path.
Compassion renews shattered arms so they can embrace the journey.
Compassion restores love into any broken heart.
Forgiveness regenerates the whole, and unifies the divided, so peace is created within.
Gratitude reminds us of our humanity, the greatest gift we exemplify to our children.

In this world our children have become our teachers.
No matter what children experience around them, they never lose their humanity.
Children pray until the end, they never lose their faith in possibility.
Children’s bodies do not lie when laid to rest burnt and tattered,
wrapped and buried in war torn truths, the remnants of our humankindness.
Children exemplify and so teach us that our humanity is a rich tapestry of humility.


~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
In Ireland, in 1976, Betty Williams said,
“We are deeply, passionately dedicated to the cause of non-violence,
to the force of truth and love, to soul-force…”



Los Angeles 2005: The Divinity In Me Sees The Divinity Within You

Into a pot of honey I dip a spoon, lick it, empty it
and lay it to rest upon my heart.
A sticky smell of sweet buzzes my nose.
The bees enter through my ear into my being.
They dance the dance of creation
leaving behind the pollen of their ways.
I feel their golden archives of choices –
this or that flower, red or pink, violet or blue.

My veins traffic the noise of their activity.
The carriers of fertility enduring their flights of fancy.
I travel with them within,
into my inner sanctum
the sanctuary of my being.
I watch the bees transport their golden dust,
from my head to my hands.
I shake my fingertips
until they bleed powdered patterns –
spiraled ringlets of gold,
piled-high imprints
each as unique as each of my fingerprints.

I feel the breeze carry to me images of a lifetime of imagination.
I will my body into being,
I will my spirit into my body.
Heat within awakens
and expands the farthest reaches of my consciousness.
Cold shivers my protective bubble of conviction,
my truths burst reforming my vision.
Standing here,
Bees inside me,
piles of golden dust beside me –
it is easy to turn honey into gold,
to believe in an Alchemist’s sweaty dream.

Into a pot of honey I dip a spoon, lick it, empty it
and lay it to rest upon my heart.
The warmth of my flesh melts the spoon.
I feel the liquid metal seep into my blood stream.
The taste of steel beads the grooves of my tongue.
I bend my shape, a chameleon of change and transformation.
It is easy to open the senses to receive the blessings of enchantment –
graceful love balanced on the compassionate inner edges of sanity.

Creation has smiled the sticky sweetness of the infinite into being.
I see the Divine catch its breath and forge the earthen fibers of existence.
The sound of Divinity smells like the watery thunder of feminine surrender.
The touch of Divinity tastes like the fiery lightening of masculine surrender.
The Divinity in me sees the Divinity within you. 


~ Other People's Fingerprints ~
Sometime around 1952 Max Ehrmann wrote,
“Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
You are a child of the universe,
no less that the trees and the stars;
You have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labours and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul”


Nova Scotia 2003: I Am Warm, Full With Love

The genius and what guards 
the landscape of this place 
has shifted in a dance with leaves, 
a foot sinking into snow, 
an elegant turn of the ankle in sand, 
a twist of a wrist in greeting.

I wait for the signal 
that all is okay 
to advance to the next step.

I am on the beach with my parents 
near their home 
doing what I can do,
to support my mother and father, 
as he transforms the disease in his life,
while death slowly takes away his breath, 
changing his form, the form of his life.

I hear the Fir Tree scabs ooze a healing substance:
I hear the loud chirp of cicadas 
hiding in the trees 
during the spring dust storms in Beijing -
I hear the honk of motorcycles 
in the warring summer heat of Hanoi -
I hear the snorts of bulls 
fighting in rings 
in the autumn of Mexico -
I hear the cries of the farmers 
wrapped in winter wools 
arguing over prices at the market 
on the border of China, Russia and Korea.

In the mean time
the planet’s crust peels away, 
revealing our selves
to our selves ...
revealing our selves 
and our meaning into the light ...
only below the surface, 
just out of sight, 
our truth is not hiding.

I see a seagull cry over my head, 
wings in flight to somewhere.
I see a lobster boat brave the full moon waves 
carrying cargo to feed someone, somewhere.
Inside me, I hear ...
the thud of horse hooves, 
hitting the Earth in Mongolia ...
I hear the people in Iran 
as the Earth quakes ...
and many souls leave ...
many souls no longer in this world.

The Earth shudders waking the transient human guests –
mud slides, rain floods, human hands make bombs that blast –
many souls are silent as they transition to a place not of this world.

In the year of two thousand and one, 
I saw a whale breech the ocean,
then our boat was surrounded 
by hundreds of dolphins laughing.
We were celebrating our birth days, 
my friend from Australia, and I.
He thought of his family 
and how much they would enjoy 
seeing this gift.
I thought of my family 
and how much they would enjoy 
seeing this gift.

We enjoyed all that we had in that moment of sight -
it was the sensible thing to do,
at least it was the sensitive thing we could do.
It was the best thing we did to expand our selves.
It is the best thing we can do to expand our selves,
to want more, to want to create more, 
to create more moments that are gifts.
To give ourselves permission to have more, 
have more moments that are gifts ...
to share these gifts.

In the mean-time, 
when times are mean, 
the images blur 
overwhelming my thoughts ...
Within the temperance of the temporary,
I feel the scabs ooze a healing substance 
into the below surface turmoil bubbling up.

At these times 
when it all seems too much, 
I do what I can do.
I untwist 
by reaching up into the sky; 
I allow the fog to roll between my fingers,
I allow wind to brush my hair from my eyes, 
I allow air to carry breath into my lungs,
and lick the ocean salt off my lips.
I allow my eyes to fill
with the depths 
of the ocean’s blues, 
and then, I allow, insight ...

I see the clouds move overhead, 
I see the sun stream down beams of light.
I breathe deep, 
and the coldness does not penetrate -
I am warm, 
full with love of this place, 
these people – 
my family.
Life is an act of love,
allowing love is an act of life.
I am warm, full with love.



~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
In 1999 Laurie Lacey wrote,
“There is a First Nations’ legend associated with the fir tree,
which relates that the guardian of this tree
is a large spirit being 
whose body is covered with scabs.
The scabs are oozing 
a powerful healing substance.
These scabs with their fluid represent 
the balsam blisters on the trunk of the fir tree.
When the blisters are punctured, 
the sap oozes from them
and bleeds over the tree bark…”



"So Above, So Below"
Location: White Point Beach, Nova Scotia



"Warm Full of Love"
Location: Carter's Beach, Nova Scotia






Saturday, November 13, 2010

Mongolia 1992: Bring Me Home, Home, After All

My morning eyes follow the path 
of the Mongolian knife 
drawn from its scabbard dry edged, 
then thrust into meat.
Knife is pulled out 
soaked-shiny oily-wet 
from the hot fat of the roasted animal.
In this lamplight the knife's jewelled handle 
glints shooting stars 
illuminating all of us with tradition.
Multicoloured twinkles 
reflect above us, on us 
and around the woollen-canvas roof of our tented yurt.

Last night’s feast celebrated the gathering 
of singers from all over Central Asia.
No contest, a simple sharing 
of talent and traditions, 
to keep alive the spirit of harmony
with all of our shared ancestry.

Offered as a feast-dish 
my friends cook a Mongolian bundle.
The sending of the animal onwards, 

into it's journey beyond our Earthly-reality,
is a ceremonial transition.
The butchering was performed 
in the Muslim tradition
prayers of respect for the animal's Soul -
absolute cleanliness in preparation, 
to safeguard the animal's body, mind and Spirit.

The Soul of the animal is received 
by us and by creation,
with love and care -
these are the strict laws of purity.
To safeguard the animal's honour, 
which we receive when we eat it, 
we return honour by giving the animal respect.
The gift of nourishing the continuation of our life,
is also a gift of learning about honour -
each meal we learn to how to give back
and we give back the necessary nutrients 
to keep the Earth in balance 
by respecting the boundaries of the worlds.
When an animal gives it's flesh,
we are given the honour to respect it's form,
and the responsibility of the release of it's Soul.
Food and nourishment are gifts, 
gifts returned with honour 
by showing the animal we respect it's life -
honour it's creation and respect it's return to creation.

The cooking is done Mongolian style.
The meat and bones are removed from the skin.
Special rocks are gathered from riverbeds 

and placed on the fire to soak up heat.
When the hot rocks hold enough fire-energy, 

the stones are layered inside the goatskin bundle.
The meat and herbs are added,

keeping the rocks company, 
absorbing their built-up energy -
then the whole-stuffed goatskin is sewn up.
This bundle is set over the flame -
 
the rocks cook the meat from the inside,
and the flames cook the whole bundle from the outside.

Today, the leftovers from last night’s feast 

will be somehow added to breakfast.
Most morning-meals are simple noodles in broth -

light meals always start the day.
The fire we are sitting around, 
is the cultural heart of this nomadic group -
the warmth of a fire always provides life, 
in food, story, song and sharing friendship.

A blanket of warm dreamtime memories 

wraps me in the glow of remembrance.
Time feels immeasurable,  

as it casts me in all directions, 
along unwinding threaded matrixes.
I travel backwards 
into the past, 
to fish for my collective memories.
Alluring smells of hot tea being made-ready
bring me back from the past into the present.
The milk tea seeps into my core 

rising heat to my skin and flush to my face.

I rewind my mind from spinning backwards 
by reversing my presence's directional flow -
it is in present time that my imagination is most powerful,
so I begin the day by weaving new legends.
We practice the meditation of augmenting presence -
I let go of any concepts of time,
and soak in the nothingness of eternal no time -
I feel One essence - 
no past, present or future, 
just now, all existing simultaneously as One experience.

I feel awake day to day in the confidence 
that each person carries a storyline from day to day.
Quiet instructions 
on how we can master awareness 
of our own life, and Space.
The Self-contained knowledge 
that each one of us
has a singular history. 
One's belonging and sense of value -
one's valuables 
that airlines can never lose, 
while we are in flight 
from the fantasy groundswell 
of Earthly illusionary hyperactivity.

The morning daybreak voices and predawn throats, 
are the Mongolian singers 
oiled to perfection for morning song.
Their bellies still full from last night's meal,
which provided the lubricants for them to reach their high notes.
It is very early but the singers are excited, 
and so they begin to sing very loudly -
my ears ring from their vibrational gift 
resonating within our community of feelings.

I enjoy the songs, 
while I share the workload.
We start planning what to prepare 
for today's lunch and tonight's dinner.
I hum as I mix, fold, blend and grind spices -
chop leek stalks and garlic shoots 
for fresh seasoning 
for mutton meat and vegetables 
that will be stuffed into dumplings.
These Khuushurr dumplings
have curative healing powers.
The dumplings are used 
to treat nervous system neurosis, 
and balance the air element, 
within the human body's five element circuitry.

I prepare some meat to boil, 
in exactly the same style, 
as Canadian First Nations,
and Native American peoples. 
Home style cooking -
boiling and roasting, 
roasting and boiling for hours,
to recreate moisture in the meat. 
When food is made with love, 
everyone's eyes are bigger than their stomachs.

I make Nan -
a non-Mongolian flat bread, 
topped with sesame seeds, 
cooked on open flamed fire.
No different from the fry bread, 
made all over Turtle Island in the Americas -
except baked.
No matter where I am in the world, 
the smell of bread baking,
always centers me.

Smell, the sense that keeps giving, 
the holistic sensation, 
that travels all hours, 
and never ceases to bring me home.
Home, after all is said and done, 
is a felt sensation in the body, 
a knowingness never lonely, 
always belonging, 
to a worldly band, 
of one and everyone -
a global tribe of one.

After all is said, I am brought home,
after all is said and done, 
I feel connected to my home -
the core of my Being, my center. 
Home, after all, is where the heart is.


~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
L. Olziitogs wrote;
"When I smell only longing from every person in the universe
My ever more tranquil heart understands that it is a fish's -
I am not merely human."

Sometime before 2007, Norval Morrisseau said; 
"The beaver was considered sacred by the Ojibway who, 
because of its meat and fur, 
regarded it as a source of life… 
The first beaver of the year that is caught by the Ojibway 
is always eaten in a manner that is considered sacred. 
Some Indians would spread a clean cloth 
and have the first beaver eaten on the floor, 
not on the table. 
All the bones are tied in a bundle 
in a clean cloth with ribbons and tobacco 
and are thrown in water. 
This is believed to bring good luck 
in catching beaver for the coming season."