Non-Fiction
True Stories of Our Real World, Real Stories of Our True World

Every Day Acts of Peace

Over 100 Million readers world-wide
in over 204 Nations and Territories
Google translation in over 103 languages

Friday, December 31, 2010

Right Here, Right Now: Beginning My New Life With Old Wisdom

Right Here, Right Now
Happy New Year.

Right Here, Right Now
Peace, love and happiness.

Right Here, Right Now
Each day and each night I am 
beginning my new life with old wisdom.

And you?

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
In 1954 in Egyptian Earth, Abdel Rahman al-Sharqawi wrote;
"You must shout in rhythm ...
You know what rhythm is? ...
You have your beledi drums ...
You must shout rhythmically, as to a drum!
Just as you used to do, in 1919.
Didn't you shout, Long Live Egypt ... very musically? 
Long Live Egypt!"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Beijing, Afghanistan 1992: A Well Deserved Rest

I am standing at the window
watching my neighbours -
a kindergarten school
of children playing.
They run, topple,
giggle, marvel and scream ...
at what new things
they discover each day.

At the farmer's market
a little boy tried to pick my pocket -
I grabbed his hand and scolded him ...
while the man selling vegetables
cursed him into obscurity. 
The boy looked sad,
he needed the money -
maybe he was taught by adults
that stealing is a better way than begging -
I wished him well,
I support his progress,
on his journey to self-educate.
Life educates.

I watch the children play.
I read in the Beijing newspaper about Afghanistan,
a neighbour that shares with China a border.
One boundary currently being transformed ...
by the politics of individual choices -
The collective whole is being reformed ...
for the collective well-being ...
Perhaps, Maybe, Possibly ...
Who knows for sure.

Throughout the history of choices ...
the older the culture, the more choices.
Sometimes confusion ...
accompanies an abundance of choice.
Whose life-Rules to live by?
Mine, Theirs, Ours?
What, When, Where, How? 
Never ask why.

Rules always begin and end the same ...
with more Rules about if the Rules were broken,
which of course is insane (to break other people's rule) ...
or if the Rules were followed 
which of course is sane (to follow other people's Rule).
For each individual one of us ...
there is one rule ...
there is one Personal Truth ...
there is your own Personal Truth ...
there is your own self-leadership,
your own rule, of your own life.

Your own personal truth
profoundly greets you upon death.
The event of Death 
makes Life experience more pronounced.
When each one is pronounced dead,
individual personal truth seeks you out -
and your own personal truth always find you.

The truth of your life makes and unmakes you,
then unmakes you again, to make you a gain.
Personal truth makes the most of you.
Personal Truth is seeded in your Soul.

Personal truth is the growth cycle of your own creation.
When personal truth comes knocking at your door, 
your inner-most deeply-hidden secreted-chambers open.
Your unknown greets your known -
what you have made is unmade, 
so your unmaking can be remade.
Your truth is your making, 
and the unmaking of you is your truth.

Truth, a personal force of creation creatively recreating you.

The sooner you glimpse your Self,
the more immediate you become - 
become intimate with your own mortality.
The you become intimate with your own mortality,
the sooner your life, live's journey, transforms.
The breath of your own precious immortality,
is cellularly placed as inhales of Self-awareness -
life's infinite intimate supply of fountain of youth.
Individual awareness is a form of Self-identity.
To be self-aware is to be essentially alive living life.

The last time I journeyed within
China's and Afghanistan's shared places,
I stood at the top of a hill ...
and looked out onto the land.
A land living with choices ...
choices of the individuals who occupy those spaces.

I met an old Shepherd ...
living in the present ...
with one foot still in the past -
one past still kept alive ...
from the results ...
of yesterday’s choices. 

The Shepherd and I talked for ages ...
about the choices he is presented with every day ...
the choices he makes each day, one day at a time ...
His present-time world of responsibility.
His rules made by other people's Rule,
his unique rules made and unmade,
which are diverse and different than other people's rules.

Each of us is accountable to our choices -
our choices which show up visibly, immediately,
within the spirit of our manifestations.

The Shepherd is of Afghani culture ...
he often crosses over to both sides ...
the side, of the other side, of the border -
the border between all sides,
the border of the Afghanistan and China -
but The Shepherd does not take sides.
The Shepherd lives on the border of two sides,
and knows the world is round, sideless.
And so the Shepherd lives by his own Nature,
the Shepherd lives by Nature's Rule, without rules.
Nature has no rules, Nature does not rule, 
The essence of Nature is to live, 
and perpetuate the cycle of life and the living.

The Shepherd lives ...
he carries his integrity within himself -
His graceful inner-movements within make,
and serve to Self-define his outer graces.
His exteriorized grace is a grace of a Self expressed whole,
a Self full of integrity, a Self full of Self-realization.
His Self-recognized spacial-harmonies boundary his Self,
and so his depth-perception is gracefully full of Self-awareness.

To witness a Self full of Self-awareness 
is to behold a Self aware, of Nature.
The Shepherd does not need,
nor does he need some person to Rule him,
or someone to tell him what rules to live his life by.
He simply is, Self-aware, and so he lives his life simply.

The Shepherd's family has been living
on this land, in this way,
long before anyone had a memory.

When my friend The Shepherd talks of home and family ...
he laughs a great deal, displaying his big-toothed grin.

He is attractive in his sincerity and humour.
He shares a great deal, 
about the nature of the first person,
to ever arrive here in these mountains, 
from another world, with another world view.
This first individual, 
this someone who came here from somewhere
appeared before there was a clan -
appeared before the clan grew into a tribe of community.

Over the years The Shepherd's community,
along with many other communities,
broke their rules of common unity,
and became willing, yet reluctantly combative.
The community had to unmake then remake their common unity ...
The community, was forced one by one to become unmade. 
Each individual had to learn to make peace -
make peace with the new transformative forces of Nature.
Not the man-made forces but Nature's forces.

The Shepherd knows 
that no community or individual 
can control Nature -
but humans can make peace with Nature.
Making peace with Nature 
means living with no rules -
no one Rules, and there are no rules.

Some humans find it difficult to make peace,
to make peace within themselves,
to make peace with Self-awareness,
to make peace with human Nature.
Each one of us has free will 
and can choose to make peace with Self and world,
or choose to wage a war on Self-peace.
To be a resistance fighter of conscious evolution is a choice.
The path of least resistance is a journey 
of less Self-terror and more Self-peace.

The Shepherd's community of individuals
one by one, each one of them, 
chose to become dedicated to preserve humanity, 
chose to be creators and protectors of Nature's integrity.
The community chose to marry their beliefs with their actions,
to honour, to have and to hold 
a sacred union with Nature.
This peopled community chose
to safeguard humanity's precious sentient resources.

Love is a choice, 
individual love,
the love of togetherness ...
the love of the land ...
the love of the planet ...
the love demonstrated in human kindness,
the love of home, the love of family ...
All individuals and communities 
eventually must choose
to have love for their community,
and to create a common unity 
that chooses to love the one and only planet 
we all live on, and we all live off of.
Love for planet is the food and nourishment of a community.

From farming fields and shepherding flocks ...
each individual within The Shepherd's community,
over centuries has become engaged,
and committed to live a life of Self-preservation.
Feeding family health is more important than fighting over ill words.
Nature informs what actions are worth fighting for ...
Nature introduces the forces of seasonal existence ...
Nature teaches how to birth the newborn in Spring,
and bury death in the dead of Winter.

My friend, The Shepherd's community,
lives according to 'Nature's code of the living' ...
"Love the life all around you, 
and life all around you will love your life."

The Shepherd's community has a common unity ...
"Do not fight life, and life will not be a battleground."

Within each individual, within any internal war,
within each neighbour, within any inner battle,
within each neighbourhood, within any inner struggle,
within each community, within any inner conflict
the challenge is to not fight the extreme external forces,
but the challenge is to go within your Self and make peace -
Self-focus to go within to make peace within your Self.

A season veteran, The Shepherd knows
the only way to safely ride the disruptive cycles,
of long Winters and late Springs,
the only way to have victory,
over heated Summers and bone chilling Autumns,
is to surrender to the common unity of Earthly love,
and to make peace with the terrestrial tendency to struggle.
Shepherds learn to ease off on effort,
and ease off on the controls, 
to let go of controlling and to let go of trying.
Who in the entire history of humanity
has ever controlled life's seasons?
How can the uncontrollable in life's cycles be controlled?

My friend, The Shepherd taught me life's basics -
Basically within each individual 
there is war, peace and everything in between ...
Basically each one of us 
gains independent experience ...
Basically each one of us individuals
gain the ability to visualize each day independently -
recognize the Sheep distinct from the Shepherd,
and define the Shepherd separately from the Sheep.

Each one of us is unique, each to their own
individual personal journey of Self-recognition -
each one getting to know, the 'who I am' ... 
Me, I reflect within mySelf, in kind ...
me that I, project out into the world of Others -
I experience the 'who I am' in the 'what I know I own' -
I own my behaviour I personalize, I own my words I use,
I own my actions I choose, I own my compassion I share.
I have my individual opportunity to see my personal growth,
I have my individual potential to share my personal sense of Self.

Each one of us individually experiences the inner resistance,
the sense of Self that senses 
and knows the difference 
between life's thorns and flowering clarity.
My friend, The Shepherd taught me
How to make personal insight visible,
How to create insight to experience Self-made certainty,
How to make certain my knowledge of my Self, to Self-realize.
The Shepherd leads by example,
He knows who he is, as an individual ...
He knows what he needs to know, to care for himself,
He knows each individual Sheep's need, to care for them.

The Shepherd observes his flock,
witnesses individual sheep,
Knows the feeling of safety and security,
Knows that if the Sheep's individual attention
is drawn away from it's giving-care to it's Self -
then the Sheep's sense of Self must take care ...
take-care to not be distracted from giving-care to it's Self.
Each Shepherd knows if any one Sheep is distracted to fear,
then each and every Sheep might become scared and lost in oblivion.

A flock of Sheep can die from care-taking diversions,
distractions can divert the strength of the flock,
from peaceful-coexistence to individual perils that take life.
The danger of distractions are they take time away
from care-taking time needed 
to look after the needs of Self and another.
In the mountains sure-footedness is diminished
if giving-care to yourself is not your first priority -
each Sheep, each Shepherd, each and every need 
must first be recognized, made Self-aware, 
to safeguard personal safety and survival.

Love of community creates a common unity,
a common bond of shared survival and Self-preservation.
Each Shepherd must care for himself and each Sheep.
Each Sheep must care-give of it's Self, and it's Shepherd.
To ensure survival of the community, 
the common unity is love -
in-kind care-giving and giving-care to be kind, 
giving-care to love, and care-giving of love.
Love is defined by not taking but giving trust and care -
there is a vast difference between care-giving, and care-taking.

The Sheep engage in training the Shepherd ...
how to be with them individually ...
and how to be with them communally with common unity.
The Shepherd engages with Self-cultivation -
he watches the Sheep to learn and to know ... 
how to be with himself, and how to be with the Sheep.
The Shepherd must first know himself to Self-lead,
to be the leader of his common unity,
to be a trusting leader worthy of trust,
and to be a care-giver within his own community.

My friend, The Shepherd witnesses ...
when individuals fight ...
within their home territories ...
changes occur within the flock ...
over time the number increases of individuals fighting ...
and so the fight grows ...
and so the fight grows more influential ...
and so the fight grows more influential over more individuals ...
and so the fight grows more individual influence ...
and so the number increases of individuals fighting ...
and so the fight increases it's power and influence over all individuals.
Each Shepherd knows if he is distracted to fear
and any one Sheep is distracted to fear,
then each and every Sheep become scared and lost in oblivion.

I asked The Shepherd about his children ...
the children living in these areas who see ...
other individuals coming, to live to fight, among them.
Do the children simply see new individual faces ...
new bodies constantly being spirited here,
being spirited there,
being spirited away from here ...
by forces of each individual's own undoing ...
Do the children see each individual, 
insisting that the forces which unmake them,
are forces not of their own making?

The Shepherd replies;
"I have trained my eyes, 
and my children's eyes, 
to view each individual face, each Sheep, as unique -
to view each face and body as easy to see, 
to view what is new as easy to make out, 
and simple to uniquely define.
I have trained my eyes, 
and my children's eyes, 
to look for what is simple, 
to find the simplicity in what is individually unique,
and to recognize simplicity within the individual, 
even over long distances."

The Shepherd observes;
"Humans do not often
view themselves as unique -
some humans do not know their-Self,
some humans do not Self-recognize,
some humans lose their sense of Self -
some humans lose themselves ... 
not only within a large flock, 
but also among other individuals.
Some humans get lost within their-Self."

Shepherd says;
"Sometimes Sheep are born into a flock
importing anger and waging fights,
anger can lead to a fear 
that weakens the individual Sheep, 
as well as the flock.
Being ill at ease, 
the Sheep hosts disease -
provides an environment for malady to spread,
from one individual to another,
and eventually over time the anger grows
to become a disease of a free will's own unmaking.

"Being ill at ease for long periods of time 
will take over free-will, and create ill-will ...
ill-will will affect individual internal well-being.

"Free-will when angered is borne forth,
and carried over distances on a fearsome ill-wind -
wild winds create a storm of change,
and transform well-being into dis-ease carrying fear.
Fear transported transplants into an individual's environment.
Internal environments once contaminated, diminish wellness.
Internal environments which import discomfort export disease,
and soon spread fear to the whole flock's well being"

Each Shepherd knows if he is distracted to fear
and any one Sheep is distracted to fear,
then each and every Sheep become scared and lost in oblivion.

I tell my friend, The Shepherd and the Sheep 
now in communion as a community gathered around us;
"I come in peace.
I am making peace within my own home.
I am making peace with my own body of experience.
Even though I come from afar 
the expression I wear,
within my heart and on my face,
can be viewed and felt as familiar.
Peace can be recognized by one Being from another Being.
Peace shared as a offering 
is Peace created as a choice 
of singular compassionate expression.
I wear my individual choices, full of peace.
I carry within myself my right, to peace.
I carry my right to share of myself, my peace.
I carry my right to choose, peace.
I share my Self-expression, of peace,
I share my own individual humanity, as peace.

The Shepherd gazes into the sky,
views the hills, then looks into my eyes.
I blush as he smiles, and says;
"I have heard that birds often carry sticks in their feet -
so when they fly over large bodies of water,
they can float the twig in the ocean of our world ...
create a place to sit still, 
gather their courage and
find their strength to create their peace.
When they are well content within themselves,
the birds continue their journey ...
until they find land -
a safe place on Earth to stay still,
for a well deserved rest."


~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Sometimes after 384 B.C., Aristotle wrote;
“Inferiors revolt in order that they be equal,
and equals that they may be superior.”

Sometime after 1890 Charles de Gaulle said;
"We may go to the moon, but that's not very far.
 The greatest distance we have to cover still lies within us."

Sometime after 1869, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi said;
"To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious 
than that of a human being."

Sometime after 1900, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote;
“For millions of years
flowers have been producing thorns.
For millions of years
sheep have been eating them all the same.

And it's not serious,
trying to understand
why flowers go to such trouble
to produce thorns
that are good for nothing?

It's not important,
the war between the sheep and the flowers?

It's no more serious and more important
than the numbers that fat red gentleman is adding up?

Suppose I happen to know a unique flower,
one that exists nowhere in the world
except on my planet,
one that a little sheep can wipe out
in a single bite one morning,
just like that,
without even realizing what he'd doing -
that isn't important?

If someone loves a flower
of which just one example exists
among all the millions and millions of stars,
that's enough to make him happy
when he looks at the stars.

He tells himself
'My flower's up there somewhere...'
But if the sheep eats the flower,
then for him it's as if,
suddenly,
all the stars went out.
And that isn't important?”

Oromia, near the Sudan and Ethiopian border,
in the terraced valley of the Holy Caves of Miracle Healing Water,
Debre Libanos ደብረ፡ሊባኖስ Ethiopia 2006



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Beijing, Tibet 1995: Remarkable Peaces Of Silence

My friends invite me to share a traditional Tibetan meal 
under the stars and moon during autumn nighttime.
We share the seasonal moment when the smell, 
held in the earth from summer creations, 
releases into winter’s care.
We celebrate the city’s communal life cycles.
We drink, eat, toast and bring cheer 
to each other’s health and good character -
until we run out of breath, songs to sing,
and anticipate that our health will collapse
from the fun of entertaining each other.

The men drink too much only to keep up with me,
and I drink too much only to keep up with the men,
no one wanting to be indecorous or culturally underperformed.
We can stop after the fifth drink without any shame,
if we are not so pleasingly polite and traditionally correct.
The unexpected benefit of drinking so much Tibetan moonshine
is that it has sterilized the damp heat 
and evaporated the water right out of my body.
Tibetan wine kills more germs than any pill prescribed
by the doctors at the hospital in Shanghai,
who attempted to cure my work weary, 
spiritual pollution induced pneumonia.

I think our singing, especially all the high vibrational notes,
undoubtedly contributes a harmonic exorcism -
to flux cure and route out the infection from my lungs.
My lymphatic system relaxes as my nervous system irrigates my colon -
my liver, gall bladder and kidneys release ancient patterns of anger.
My smile widens as my friends recount stories.
I laugh at their intentional doctoring of me via the effect of their wine and song.

The laughter and song in the yurt warms our circle of bodies -
we rise up a few degrees in temperature to heat our heart centers, 
as we ascend our earthly demeanor to integrate our Soul's power -
we sing to clear the channels that carry our Soul into our lower body.

My face begins to thaw -
humming my ears into an acoustic ring of surround sound.
The peace of the extreme chill reverberates
my very personal experience of cold,
and as I sit on the grounded woolen seat,
I feel every body part of me slow 
and trickle surreal my every moment of movement.

My nose drips little warm droplets.
Fluids arrive from somewhere in my body in a rush to escape,
to effect an exit via my sinoatrial node -
then my nose muscles and fluids orbit before becoming still 
to freeze into icicles at my nose tip’s end.
The penetration of the far below-zero freeze reminds me
of my Canadian childhood -
a cold that leisurely cuts and fragments
my breath into remarkable peaces of silence.


~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Sometime after 1953 Ma Jian wrote;
“… a road she walked, 
a road which would wake her from her sleep, 
was one she’d often walked halfway down before.”




Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tibet, China 1991: Natural Next Step In Divinity While Living

I once read a story
of a young woman
considered a reincarnation 
of a Tibetan monk.
I remember the description of her life.
In the story she died at age fifteen
while performing the rituals
required for her entrance
to the next stage of her life.

She kept herself sheltered
and unsure of her next steps
so she could unaided and unsupported,
mentally prepare her courage
for her greatest journey of endurance.

In her initiation ritual
she stood still, naked
in a frozen river,
to practice
releasing fear 
from her heart
in order to activate 
her inner power.

A critical state
beyond reality 
emerged within her,
as she became 
self-terrified,
rendering her self 
less power full.

She trapped her soul 
in a casket of ice -
faith was needed 
to melt the encasement,
as it was only water 
that had become less fluid
when made more solid 
from her fear.

Water is a denser form of light,
a boundary to cross over
which holds more life 
to physically experience.
She knew to create a lighter body
absent of fear and judgment
she must illuminate and bath her self in light -
in radiance of infinite love, trust and acceptance.

Yet she denied herself ascension 
through the nonpermanent boundaries of physicality,
by mentally limiting her imagination 
to live contained within her vessel.
Her self imposed spiritual geography
had borders
prohibiting from growth
the expansion of her true nature -
her natural next step in divinity
while living in a physical body.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
An ancient Chinese proverb imparts,
“Be not afraid of growing slowly,
be afraid only of standing still.”

"Universal Bellybutton" by karin Lisa Atkinson

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Afghanistan, China 1992: Check Out Your Attitude, To The All, The Many, The Everyday Everything

I continue thinking about the Shepherd,
as the clouds pass, over the sun,
turning the horizon,
into one colour of blue,
that greys and slows,
the passing of time traveling.
I watch the rainbow form and disperse.
I watch the Sun set and the Moon rise.
I watch more clouds gather
to share the same sky,
as the Moon, Sun, Earth,
rainbow and storm clouds.

In my memory,
I share the hills and sky,
with the many people,
I have met in my journey.
I see the Shepherd,
my friend,
who lived on the border,
between Afghanistan and China,
I see him,
look into the hills,
up at the sky,
then turn, and face me.

In my memory He says simply;
that humans are not birds -
that boundaries once crossed,
transform individuals,
and their neighbourhoods of individuals,
individual families, gangs, clans, tribes.
Boundaries once crossed,
transform -
communities of people,
from feeling powerful,
into feelings of powerlessness.

Visible land, Earth boundaries,
are merely manmade -
the important boundaries are inside,
invisible, Spirit made -
universal crossings, centuries made ...
Made by ancestors carrying forward our codes,
passing encoded memories,
through the boundaries of bodies -
once the veiled threshold is crossed ...
like a cloud crosses the sun ...
all else, every one, every body is unmade ...
the all of the everything is transformed.
Earth boundaries once crossed transition form,
change form, have an Earthy affect on it's people -
some people do not see as far as a bird,
some people do not see the larger picture.

Pointing out each individual bird,
my friend, the Shepherd shared;
Birds never give away their power ...
they view the world in larger visions ...
if they do not like the view from down here ...
then they fly to up to an other dimension ...
changing their perspective of the land ...
and transforming Earthly details ...
to appear insignificant ...
compared to the larger whole, of life.

Birds never give away their freedom to others.
Some people give away their power to an other ...
an other who seems to be more ...
seems to be more powerful, more strong ...
seemingly might be more wealthy, more attractive or wise.

The Shepherd asked me about the birds in Canada.
I told him;
when I was a child,
my parents took our family to the flower festivals,
to watch the new blooms open.
The Canadian Geese always flew by,
high above us a sky family in formation,
returning home from the south for Summer,
casting moving shadows over our Spring in the North.
Transforming the land, weather and season,
through a bird's liberated imagination,
of a world with no boundaries, no borders nor limits.

I told the Shepherd;
about the green hills,
that my family walked in Canada,
we collected pinecones,
and thin layers of transparent mica crystals,
from the peace at rest, openly visible on the forest floor.
Our footprints transformed the ground we walked on,
leaving imprints on the Earth, impressions of our souls.
Our breath changed the air, into more, or less, of one, of us.

He told me about his parents;
and their walks,
among flowers taller than children -
how green the hills were,
and still are ...
despite the changing weather.
Their family walks transformed the seeds,
grew the flowers taller with each compliment,
the eyes, of each beholder's sight, improved ...
from love, for the beauty, of nature.

I told him;
about the horses,
my grandfather cared for,
trained and tended for others.
The Shepherd told me;
about when horses ran free,
tending to themselves,
and the land.
The horse's hooves,
transformed the grasses,
carried the seeds,
of life's plantings,
from place to place ...
painting the landscape alive with life.

I shared with him;
my story of when my family,
was forced to move,
from the city to the countryside -
we desired to avoid the bombings,
created by pro-independence students,
and groups intent on separating from the whole ...
I described the people of different cultures,
who spoke different languages,
but shared the same religion,
these people were tall, short, thin, fat, rainbow coloured ...
The war on spirit transformed the light of our city,
we lived to believe that this lie, too shall pass.

I shared with the Shepherd;
that once my family moved from the city ...
I immediately loved the openness of the countryside.
I walked for hours and laid down in fields,
watched the horses eat, and the cattle graze.
I always thought I was out of sight,
of the animals view,
but they would always find me ...
hidden among the blades of grass ...
The animals would stare down at me -
look at me as if saying;
"We don’t mind you being here,
just keep your peace."

The Shepherd laughed and shared;
when he was little ...
they had to leave home,
due to conflict,
between the people,
speaking different languages,
of different tribal cultures,
but the same religion,
these people were tall, short, thin, fat, rainbow coloured ...
The war on spirit transformed the light of their city,
they lived to believe that this lie, too shall pass.

The Shepherd's family
moved higher into the hills.
He loved the high hills
and as a child would play
a game of hide and seek
behind rocks
to spy on the goats.

The goats ate between the boulders -
they sometimes would stick their noses,
where they did not belong,
and got stuck between the gaps -
the spaces in between a rock and a hard space.

The animals ate to keep clean the hillside,
as they have since hillsides were born,
and grow fresh each day to show their love,
of being nurtured and cared for.
The goats transformed the hillside,
wanderers ever seeking their individual way,
casting shadows and silence on the mountains -
these ancient goats drink snow,
which falls from the sky,
and eat grasses
which spring from the earth.

The Shepherd and I surrendered
to the silence gracefully surrounding us.
We soaked in the gentleness
of the landscape enveloping us -
our gaze fell ...
on a group of Shepherds ...
traveling near us.

Our conversation suspended ...
while we witnessed the weight ...
of these individuals walking heavily towards us.
Full of themselves ...
filled up with their troubles ...
they eyed us ...
sized up our threat potential ...
like gangs in New York and LA ...
checking out our true colours ...
what tribal markings ...
and clothes identified our human alliances.

The Shepherd and I,
as one colour
transformed the sky
and reflected
our Soul's tremors
and our heart's tears.

I heard several Afghani individuals,
were suspected of providing support,
to other individuals ...
speaking different languages ...
of different tribal cultures ...
but the same religion ...
these people were tall, short, thin, fat, rainbow coloured ...
The war on spirit transformed the light of their city ...
they lived to believe that this lie, too shall pass ...
But these individuals were no longer armed with Shepherd staffs ...
due to the military might of visiting foreign legions ...
now these indigenous individuals, families, communities, tribes ...
are supporting a grass roots movement to get themselves organized.

The foreigners tried to transformed the citizen's movements ...
moving some people to other places ...
and moving other people to some more spaces ...
moving the different spoken languages ...
of different tribal cultures ...
but not the same religion ...
these people were tall, short, thin, fat, rainbow coloured ...
The war on spirit transformed the light of their city,
they lived to believe that this lie, too shall pass.

The question of sustainable relations ...
between people ...
grows confusing ...
the media in different countries ...
is influenced by governing bodies of different worldly powers ...
powers who are now calling these individuals ...
"armies creating terror".
The media news transforms mental landscapes ...
mindscapes desire to escape the army of fear ...
fear treads upon free-hearts liberated-souls of humanity.

I wonder who is responsible ...
for unmaking these hospitable lands
into being made into lands no longer hospitable ...
No one is no longer welcome here ...
Shepherds, goats, kids and women of any kind ...
This group of individuals ...
from the community-now-in-possession-of-arms ...
is slowly approaching us,
waving their long arms of the law ...
their guns glint in the sunshine ...
steel reflections of the rainbow as it fades ...
growing closer with each foot step and sun blink ...
suddenly they arrive at their destination ... us,
we are their point of arrival, their target audience.

We are their focal point of peace, or war ...
we are the closest unknown danger for miles around ...
and so they stop to check out our attitude ...
assess my attitude, towards them ...
Question us ...
these questions and answers have the power ...
to transform the world around us ...
our answers change the perception of the inquisitors.

I can only hope ...
we embrace each other's humanity ...
remember our common unity ...
within our global community ...
That, each one, of us, is guided, to go inward ...
the inner answers make peace with the outer warring questions ...
within each one of us, is our own Self ...
to remember we are all born ...
from the same ingredients ...
which form our common unity ...
is to recall
we might be of different tribal cultures ...
we might not be of the same religion ...
we might be people tall, short, thin, fat, rainbow coloured ...
The war on spirit transformed the light of our world,
we all live and believe that this lie, too shall pass.

My love transforms the separateness of our rainbow coalition ...
love creates unity in community ...
love and acceptance unmakes war ...
love creates a common unity for love of life and love of peace.

I still, within my Self ...
I am responsible for my own peace and war ...
I stop, to check out my own attitude towards them ...
I still, to check out my own attitude towards ...
the all, the many, the everyday everything.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Khushal Khan Khatak sometime before 1689 wrote;
"Sweet life that passes by slowly slowly
Like water it flows slowly slowly
Friends are the flowers of spring
They follow the path of autumn slowly slowly.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn sometimes after 1918 wrote;
“If only it were all so simple!
If only there were evil people
somewhere
insidiously
committing evil deeds,
and it were necessary only
to separate them
from the rest of us
and destroy them.
But the line dividing good and evil
cuts through the heart
of every human being.
And who is willing
to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn sometimes after 1918 wrote;
“Own only what you can always carry with you:
know languages, know countries, know people.
Let your memory be your travel bag.”

“A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy.”

“You only have power over people
as long as you don't take everything away from them.
But when you've robbed a man of everything,
he's no longer in your power--he's free again.”



Saturday, December 18, 2010

Vietnam 1992: The Aftermath of 'The Art of War' is Exposed - Not Buried

Today, the image that stands out in my mind
is the one that I cannot make sense of.
Two soldiers on opposing sides
pin down each other with gunfire.
They believe the only way out
is to kill each other over differences -
kill whoever is different from the other.

In their heads they think it is their job,
their warring belief systems taught them so.
In their hearts they pump adrenalin
to keep the job description flowing.

In the meantime between gun fires
both soldiers have time to feel,
before each trigger pull,
they have the time to choose
each finger squeeze.

One soldier decides
he is going against his nature,
that his spirit is already dying.
A dying spirit can anticipate its death,
at a precise moment
fear gives way to compassion.

The other soldier fires his gun,
and immediately after the shooting,
he checks to see if his target is dying.
He finds his target wounded
near death and nearing death
yet conscious enough to still value life.
The soldier's compassion is ignited.
He offers the comfort of water
and a cigarette to the life quickly lapsing.

After all, both men are lonely,
and possess the same fears -
both are deathly afraid of dying alone
in the middle of nothing
for who knows what.

Out of respect for life,
their human vulnerability creates
a controversial link conversing
across the abyss of difference -
both soldiers start to share their stories.
When stirred, the true feelings of home and family
are the shortest path to a peaceful reconciliation.
The men share photographs,
the images of the ones they are fighting for -
who most likely prefer that there is no need to fight.
The sounds they use to express themselves,
may not be the same utterances,
yet they share the eternal language
of all life and all the dead and dying.

As one soldier slowly leaves,
this world for the next,
his place is left vacant
readying for the next, another.
The expiring man holds onto his life,
long enough, to finish his last gift - a smoke and water.
He offers his killer his remaining food rations.

I grew up watching War on television.
Each day I was teleported 
into a vision of a version of the news.
Reports on the Vietnam conflict, 
by Canadian reporters in the field,
trying to explain to Canadians 
why Americans want to make war -
with people they did not deeply know, 
living a system of governing not deeply understood. 

The unknown is often threatening to people, 
who choose fear over understanding, 
and insist on governing via devaluing other's potential.

As a child I was confused 
by the images and multiple choices -
some of the views expressed in these broadcasts 
were harmful to me, deadly to others,
and yet never fully owned by anyone responsible.
No one held the broadcasting networks responsible
for the opinions they presented on behalf of
the client accounts who paid them for representation.

Some people are in the business 
of creating choices, 
and consider themselves 
ethically principled -
accountable and responsible 
enough to be given license, 
to broadcast stories 
to millions of adults and children.

Yet for some people 
their emotional comfort 
and legal safety 
requires disclaimers -
"The opinions expressed 
in this broadcast 
are not our own,
therefore we are not responsible 
for these words, and images, 
nor their impact on our world,
and our worldwide audience 
globally witnessing this entertainment."

These external world images 
do not match 
my inherent internal world view.

When I was a child 

some comic books imported 
from the United States into Canada,
had advertisements for children 

to write to American soldiers, 
based in Vietnam, who had no family.
In return they offered children 

a copy of the soldier's dog tags 
to wear around as a fashion necklace, 
or identification bracelet around the wrist.
A trend was wanting to be created, 
for children to wear decorations of war -
adorable children adorned with artifacts 
supporting destruction and death.
Our own kindergarden war trophies 
created to remember our world's tragedies.

In Life our actions do become real 
and bring war closer to home.
When parents buy their children war outfits,

and adults make a fashion statement dressing
in camouflage caps, khaki pants and army jackets.
Within our family of planetary languages 

one word means the same in every language.
The word "advertising" means "propaganda" -
both words are actually one word with one meaning.
"The action of creating, educating 
and promoting to people a shared consensus."

One mass unified consciousness, 
created by people for people.
Manufactured manipulation to takeover the lead, 
to lead people's permission and investments,
to convince people to gift their 'power of belief'.
Crafting people's wills to act out 
and uphold a group agreement to what rules -
how to makeover what rules, into what is cool.

Who is They and Who is We -
I have lost track of everyone except for Who is Me.

When I was a child I asked my mother -
"Why do soldiers wear identification bracelets.
Why wear bracelets if they have identification necklaces?"

My mother got quiet -
she dislikes war of any kind, 

war anywhere on any kind of life -
she disbelieves in sharing the insanity 

of making love to war
to make war on loving kindness.

My childhood friends and I loved to read comic books.
I asked my friends,
"Why do soldiers wear two forms of identification?"

One child said her father told her -
"Sometimes in battle men lose their heads."

Her mother told her,
"Men mostly lose their heads 
when they battle themselves.
War is a crime against our own humanity.
War is each individual's search for their own humanity,
but sometimes the only thing that is created 
is the systematic destruction of all 
of our communities, which house our humanity."

The Elder, in my friend's family, 

her grandmother, shared her wisdom -
"All struggles for power 

are struggles against insanity -
a struggle to find power in this world
is simply one person's struggle 

to find their own reason for being."

We children were not quite sure 

of the meaning of it all.
The adults seemed to be acting 

as if all this war making 
was a normal course in action.
Life, after all the death and destruction, 
would work out to be happily ever after.
We children were not sure of this reality -
the surreality the adults were investing in,
and the educating their youth to believe in.

As children of the first television-generation, 

immersed in high volume violent images,
we were being terrorized with no hidden agenda.
No supervising adult had a rational realization
for the in-doctoring that was inducing madness 

of our childhood sensitivities and memories.

People sought happiness 

and justice amidst the surreal
like comic book heroes in mythical stories -

everything all worked out artfully on page 
before the story ended.

We children bought the comics 

with thickly illustrated villains 
and heroes in living color,
expecting that one day 
someone would write a story 
that would give us a full explanation of
why we struggle against our own humanity.

I have yet to be convinced 

that dressing war up 
as entertainment is comical -
the aftermath of the art of war 

is cruelty exposed, not buried by time.
We will be remembered
for our cruel acts to kindness over time.
The aftermath of the art of war 
is exposed - not buried, by time.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Sometime after 1729 Edmund Burke wrote, 
“He that wrestles with us 
strengthens our nerves, 
and sharpens our skill. 
Our antagonist is our helper.”