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Every Day Acts of Peace

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Haiti, Los Angeles 2010: You and I Are All That Ever Was, and Will Be

All forces of nature 
are used to colliding,
reflecting, resisting 
and redefining themselves -
as they reinvent themselves, 
with passion into sensation.

All events are natural 
to the forces of Nature –
it is just that some times 
humans judge Life, 
judge each other,
and govern their Self
according to the full forces of emotion.

Feeling every thing, 

and giving free reign to all feelings -
is one way to live a Life in fullness,
yet all that is, and all that is all around,
means during some times we channel.
We channel energy through us,
breathing deeply, then deeper.

Breathing, living through thin walls,
alveoli feeling the sensation of every thing -
all sentiments that have ever been,
energetically directed alive spinning through Space.
We exhale carbon dioxide, nitrogen and oxygen,
but it is within the Water 
We respire that memory stored.

We unintentionally orchestrate 
all things to come alive -
and sit in the back seat 
while We let other energy 
drive our personal power.
In sum, these given moments
add up to not surrendering our crown.

Our head space, our throne, 
can only be powerfully governed 
by no one other than our Self.
If We lose our balance, get lost in space, 
We forsake our day dreams,
to act out our worse fears -
a type of slumber unconsciously navigating 
our Life through living out, acting out,
our most challenging nightmares.

Heart centered growth 

is the evolution 
of compassionate kindness -
freely given to all, 
as charity bestowed 
naturally upon people.
A global examination 
of world humanity,
and individual pride 
tested by the faith you have
in your own choices.

Faith you have in your human need 
to trust stranger's inhumane assistance,
then forgive, accept and make peace,
over and over again make peace,
within cycles of humanity's human existence.

Human heightened humility will always be
challenged to be urbane, exist in kindness,
be creative and destructive by recreating 
feats that create and challenge the courage of unity.

A worldly examination which globally tests 

what We feel about our Self and each Other.
This is Life, 
an obstacle course of leaps and bounds,
global movements,
moving deeper into our heart space -
to see what was not seen,
and to dare to speak what was not heard.

We live the questions not yet asked.
We live the questions not yet answered.
We live the questions always asked:
What do I feel about my Self?
What do I feel? What do I need? What do I want?"
Difficult times beg each individual to ask 
and answer the practical questions
of Self-faith in Self-perseverance.

Salvation is close at hand
whisper all humans while still,
while witnessing themselves travel 

at in-urbane speeds faster than light -
yet slower than the ecology of urban sound.

We are all living through times

when morality is inhumane to be human,
and quite human to be inhumane -
yet within polarity between these dualities 
exist more of us
than We can infinitely imagine.

Moments of Life are given 

to rise above, move around all that is - 
be smelt, tasted, touched, seen and heard,
rise above all that is not Self.
To know reality from illusion
is to smile when a frown is easier,
and to be your Self when being
your own worst enemy comes naturally.

The spirituality of Self-reflection
illuminates the science of mirroring the living
while they are living the Life
not yet known to them,
living the Life of the enlightened still unknown -
the great mysterious aspects of Self,
human's divine humanity undefined.

For all the world to see,

carved on ancient tablets
and etched on stone walls,
are the signs of Life that can be read -
so read the traffic signs
carefully gifted by our ancestors.
They left us guidance, 
a map of their time, and ours, 
reflecting our present direction.

Our ancestors left us support 
a future ways and means.
Our ancestors left respect for us 
to navigate our own way in our own time.

All that which was in the Beginning
is all that which is now, 
and is that which ever shall be:
world without end.
Relax as Earth moves the earth, 
and ashes transform into more ashes, 
and dust changes into more dust.

Transfix the veil of all that 
which is during the light of Day.
Transduce the veil of all that 
which is resurrection during the dark of Night.
Life living the world to come, 
which is fashioned anew, each moment.

From the body of humiliation 
form is light reconformable,
moment by moment transformation -
a glowing body of time and space
glory revealing the character 
of the inner world revealed 
as revelation made by mighty 
inner organic workings -
whereby, all things within, 
within, our will, 
are subject to our will, 
our commands at will.

Flowers close up at night to sleep 

the senseless eternal sleep,
and reopen during the day 

to wake the senses' nocturnal action.
There is a time to be still and be silent,
there is a time to be still and speak out -

make noise in a voice so personal,
so loud, to be silently heard within -
within every recess and heart felt fold.

Shouting whispers of be, still 
and know
That, I am - I am here, 
I am just here, just like seeds 
yet to flower and seeds already sprung 
into life, from beneath the rubble 
and debris of life, make your Self known, 
raise your voice proudly and make your sound;
Be Still Know I Am Here  
Know I Am That Eternal Always Present.
It is not a answer or question of religiously living, 
it is a Life question answered 
by conscientiously breathing.

In a little while 

when the world will see me no more,
though you will see me, 
because I live with you, I will see you -
and so, you also live because you are seen.
I will not leave you, orphan you;
I will come to you –
yet for a little while, 

if the world wills to see no more of me,
you will still see me because I live 
within eternity, still and so do you 
live eternally, still.

On that day, 

within, still, moments, 
you will know -
that you are eternally of me,
I eternally of you,
and eternally you and I
are all that ever was, and ever will be.

~ Other People's Fingerprints ~
Sometime around 1967 Leonard Cohen wrote;
I’m not looking for another as I wander in my time,
Walk me to the corner our steps will always rhyme,
You know my love goes with you as your love stays with me,
It’s just the way it changes like the shoreline and the sea,
But let’s not talk of love or chains and things we can’t untie,
Your eyes are soft with sorrow,
Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Vietnam 1992: Create, Feel, Speak, See, Hear, Be and Act My Peace

Half way to the heavenly temple 
my attention is drawn from highway to roadside. 
Columns of white cloaked hooded people form two lines.
My eyes follow the procession 
from the road into a clearing 
to where a body lay -
on a table, centered, under a roofed open sided hut.

The lifeless form is surrounded 
by white clan mourners quietly paying their respects.
We stop to observe the funeral rites,
and are welcomed like family, who has come from afar.
The wife of the man who had passed away 
considers our just showing up auspicious -
it is a great sign to garner respect from mourners,
even strangers who have traveled over vast distances 
to be here with the deceased family and friends.

I stand to one side, nervous
I am told that I am one of the few foreign women, 
to be seen in this part of the world,
since the French left Vietnam in the 1950s.
I remain respectfully quiet.
A woman tells me the only other women from far away,
seen in these parts, have been Canadian nurses
sequestered to hospital bases during the American-Vietnam war.
Another woman approaches me, takes my hand 
and leads me to a table laid with food and drink. 
She sits me down on a bench.
I become the unexpected center of ceremonious attention.
All the women are excited to see me 
despite the solemn occasion which surrounds us.

Their generosity overwhelms me,

as tea and pastries are thrust into my hand -
I have nothing to give in return 
except my smiles 
and praise of everything they share.

The women love my eyes
and motion to the blue sky 
which today matches my eye color.
Speaking rapidly in joyous enthusiastic hyper bursts,
the women reach out touch my hand, 
embrace me, pat my fingers 
and gently rub the patterns at my fingertips end.

A woman departs from the group 
and returns moments later with a new lady -
adding more laughter to our expanding congregation.
Everyone laughs, as she takes my hand,
and lays it on the table beside the newly arrived lady's hand.
Giggles explode as similarities are pointed out,
our hands match exactly 
in size, shape, color and finger length -
everyone is all smiles 
fascinated by the woman’s extraordinary 
observant sense of correct detail.

Our amusement increases both in volume of sound and size,
as the lady who first spied me rises, moves to my side,
then reaches out to touch my nose, cheek and outline my freckles.
The group and individual conversations quicken,
as two more women are brought forward -
one with an identical size and shaped nose,
and another with freckles that match mine in color and number.

This ceremony of life 
embracing our common features 
has already lasted an hour,
as woman after woman 
with similarities to me 
are sought, found, 
and brought forward one by one.

One by one the words only just spoken to me moments ago, 

echo within me, reverberate inside my head -
my Hanoi work associate, cultural and language translator whispered; 
"More bombs were dropped here than in all of Europe during World War II."

I am quiet with respect for the healing that these women have passed through.
Most people, in this area, lost over seventy-five percent of their family members.
I feel hope burn a hole in humanity’s armored chest,
as choices to heal win over choices to destroy –
these open hearted women choose to heal by being aware –
by focusing their attention on the similarities between us, and not the differences.

My spirit aches from the pain that rises from my womb.
I feel again the sorrow in Beijing from the last three years –
from people feeling so betrayed by the foreign media coverage of events –
that they eventually retreated, hurt and defensive, from their wounds. 
Injured they pulled back from the bombardment of the international world;
the media blitz’s intense criticism of their domestic affairs –
agendas that focus us to see only the differences between them and us.

I feel lost in the dizzy spell being cast by the supernatural attraction

of humans judging humans, fighting using words and ideas -
battling over speeches and ideals, natural resources and energy supplies -
killing individuals, families, groups, towns and cities full of souls.
Everyday in the international newspapers and magazines, 
I read the long list of differences between citizens,
citizens who live in one geographical area 
versus citizens who live in another.

Eventually media sentiment overwhelms me 

into feeling an attitude of hopelessness.

Unable to defend the differences in human hearts, 
I survive by focusing on commonality.
Media all over the world, 
for the price of raising numbers in reader and viewership, 
sells humanity short -
sells humanity a sort of never ending story of world woe -
where we need always be on guard 
against what fears we fear most -
the fright of strangers and the strange, 
which estrange us from our global family.

Advertising judgment of each other’s developmental change 
creates growing pains -
the propaganda of human limitations, 
convinces people from rising above their daily destinies, 
and being renewed by our infinite faith in universal fate.
Information is different than news, 
and heart evolution requires mindful awareness.

I know in my heart I have been slowly accepted by some,
instantly trusted by others and rejected by one -
these women of the Mekong Delta act grateful for my presence -
they could have chose to instantly hate me,
perceive me as a symbol of the enemy that once destroyed their all,
and everything they once held familiar and dear.
I clearly see that when given the choice 
these women choose similarity, commonality and unity 
as a natural acceptance of their love of humanity - theirs and mine.

I feel my throat dry, 
become raw from emotions that are rising 
from every cell in my being.
We are healed, 
and time passes creating more opportunities for healing.
Time reveals to those who want to see,
the vision of the healed, healing and wholly holistic nature of life.
The love of life in other Beings breathes life into my love of being.

We gain awareness to choose to expand ourselves during disparaging changes -
to not withhold, contract and pull away powerless, 
separating ourselves from the disparity that differences tend to illuminate.

I know we all want to create the peace and harmony needed to keep humanity power full.
I am my own opportunity to create, feel, speak, see, hear, be and act my peace.

~ Other People's Fingerprints ~
Sometime in the 7th Century Empress Yamatohime said;
“Others may forget you, but not I.
I am haunted by your beautiful ghost.”

Sometime before October 5, 1785 Otomo no Yakamochi wrote;
Now to meet only in dreams,
Bitterly seeking,
from sleep,
Groping in the dark
hands that touch nothing."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Cuba 1986, Silicon Valley 1998: We All Have in Common Idolizing Something Outside of Ourself

"We reap what we sew, and when we reap what we sew,
all threads embroider together into a stronger tapestry of inter-reliance."

When I remember Cuba
I recall Lucille’s strong voice clearly speaking these words.

Some days it is as if the wind brings
the song of her inspiration to whisper in my ear.
I met Lucille in a window, her window,
of the bookshop she managed with her husband Albor in Cuba.
They stocked the shelves with their favorite literature,
and all day on their phonograph
they freely played music of their own choice.
I loved to listen to Cuban jazz, Afro-Cuban blues,
and the folk music of the farm laborers and state factory workers.

Lucille spent much time in the window, 
sitting in a chair rocking the Sun to rise, 
then passing the day by talking,
and rocking the Sun to set in the evening.
She often remarked that it was her duty to the world -
she is the one who holds the responsibility
of rocking the sun awake and to sleep,
because she is the one who knows, 
the importance of warmth on the flesh 
that in turn heats the blood flow to the heart.

Her husband, Albor was my cultural teacher.
He took pride in tutoring me in the history of Cuba -
its roots diversely on display in their national literature and music.
I remember how softly his hands held affection for each book,
and how they gestured life into the stories he knew of each writer.

As Albor empathically lectured,
Lucille rocked his words into worn grooves in the floor.

Albor often pursued his line of thinking out loud;

"The world seems divided
into the accidental with intentional results,
the intentional with unintended results,
and the unintentional with unintended results.
It sounds like the same game, but it is far from the same aim."

He would look me in the eye to punctuate his sharing, 
and touch my shoulder lightly when emphasis was necessary.

He always spoke with quiet intelligence to complete his thoughts,
and for my part I always thought about what he said.

Now, years later, more than a decade after he spoke his peace, I recall;

"The world seems divided into the accidental with intentional results,
the intentional with unintended results,
and the unintentional with unintended results.
It sounds like the same game, but it is far from the same aim."

On that day I first heard these words I wondered if the world had any aim, 
and if the games we lived out were created from our own challenges.

Today I complete my own thoughts
by playing along with my own inner dialogue;

"It is not if you win the game,
but if you play games ...
and if you play games,
how do you stop yourself from playing? ...
... with other people's emotions and lives ...
trifling with your own life and feelings."

Over the course of time we spent together
I bought four books from Albor and Lucille.
It was a small price to pay for all the knowledge
they freely gave to enrich my inner world culture. 
They were thrilled with the sale,
it was the most books they had sold in one year.

In their small town most people were literate, 
they all loved to read, 
but no one could afford the price of a book ...
so people paid what they could
to take books out on loan ...
read them aloud or individually quickly
then return them so other friends and neighbours 
could share the wealth openly displayed on each page.

One day, while Albor was hand grinding coffee beans in the kitchen,
I asked Lucille if she ever wanted some of the new technology -
like what they often showed on TV 
broadcast over the sky and ocean from Miami ...
the only television in town was in the one local hotel for foreigners.

Lucille slowed her chair rocking,
edged her big toe into a beam of sunlight, 
smiled and replied;

"Coffee would still taste like coffee,
and sunbeams would still warm the souls of my feet just the same.
Even if some new technology made coffee faster to make, 
tasting the coffee would be the proof of any real progress."

I thought deeply about what Lucille imparted.
In the 1980s, when I lived in Canada
I was working on some new holographic technology...
it certainly would not make coffee taste any better,
nor the coffee bean harvest any easier work for the farm labourers.

My thoughts were interrupted by the silence,
the sound of Lucille's rocking chair had halted.
Lucille was deep in intuition tuning into the Lucille Channel.
She began rocking her chair again and announced;

seem to build on humanity not idealizing technology,
while technology-full-tribes 
build on technology seeming to marginalize humanity ...
yet those humans with technology,
and those without,
share a common sense of madness -
we all have in common the romantic habit
of idolizing something, anything outside of ourself."

~ Other People's Fingerprints ~
Sometime after 1872 Sri Aurobindo wrote;
“Remember you are at an exceptional hour in a unique epoch,
that you have this great happiness, 
this invaluable privilege,

Friday, May 6, 2011

Hiroshima 1989: Evaporating Emotions From Our Collective Pool of Feelings

Intimacy begins 
with acknowledging curiosity 
about someone other than your self.
She walks to me a stranger 
with intent to connect,
she never takes her eyes off mine 
for one second.
There is so much depth in her eyes, 
I can see thousands in life and death,
all the souls in her heart, 
all whom she met in her life –
the totality of her experience 
surrounds us in this moment.

Hiroshima blinks her eyes 
and tightens her grasp of my hand,
my throat tightens its grip on my breath 
and the blood flow to my heart.
Moved, I kiss her hand
so she knows I know 
the hopes of a woman –
that love and connection 
are never too late
when expressed honestly
with trust from the heart.

People walk by embarrassed 
by the open display 
of raw human emotion.
I understand their faces, 
but not their words.
I am embarrassed 
to let go of her saged hands, 
in her time of need –
to seemly reject her 
outreach for connection.
She created the emotional strength 
to move from her comfort zone,
to stretch out her elderly boundaries 
and break her aged limitations - so
I decide to meet her challenge 
to create emotional strength,
to match her feelings, 
stretch, to freely return 
what she freely gifts me.

We both know it is time 
to be more than we are separately,
so I gently grasp her hands 
tighter to unite our vision to connect.
Now I am the age 
she was during the destruction,
later I will be the age 
she currently is consecrating -
renewed by our combining 
strength and purpose, 
I pledge to carry the force 
of her stream of life forward, 
to forever flow.

A tear falls 
as graceful 
as an individual 
snowflake glides
to meet and blend 
with all the other 
on life's mountaintop.

I relax my hold of her hand, 
as an expression 
of my individual snowflake,
since not a single tear 
falls from my eyes, 
to blend with her 
already fallen snow.

Hiroshima rains down tears, 
for me to share, 
as I stand 
under her umbrella of hope.
She came to me 
with grasped hands, 
then unclasped hands, 
only to grasp mine.
She spoke to me in Japanese, 
a language I do not understand – 
but I remember her being, 
here, now, then and thereafter,
I know she shared 
her soulful eternity in Emotion, 
a language I do understand.

This saged lady 
crying in front of me 
grows older
with each moment passing 
bringing yet another tear.
She will die soon 
and take with her the events –
her events she personally witnessed, 
not recorded in any history books -
too personal 
to be etched on paper history,
her testament of sleepless nights 
and legacies vivid with emotion 
pass with her.

We lose something 
every time 
someone dies on this planet,
we lose 
a little bit of emotion 
from the collective pool of feelings.

I wander around the dead 

and naked land of Hiroshima.
The artists have done their best 
to do a make over of this land,
into a sacred space 
for the pursuit and worship of peace.
It is quiet, 
petrified from the last bit of noise and fury
when angels lost some feathers 
from the sky downward descending.
Some of us fly, 
some of us club down our own wings,
but human nature thrives 
in air as well as on earth.

I photograph the doves 
as they fly towards me
their wings span time, 
distance, drama and trauma.
Doves fly above my 
outstretched hands 
in circles and spirals –
they grace the air 
with details of their elegance -
elegant historical flights.
Mobile sculptures 
that embody grace, 
birds fly in the formation
of one large family, 
united by inheritance, 
as emissaries of peace.

Wings brush the tangles 
from my world-worn hair, 
leaving feathers as bookmarks,
time-holders to save their place, 
as they read my thoughts.
I pull a feather from my hair 
and read in it the collective memory of birds.
I watch them fly on wings of history 
to show us they survive destruction,
only to soar to greater heights – 
birds come back 
when time has healed 
the heart of the Earth.
Some of the birds are malformed, 
a new breed emerging
surviving to thrive among 
the bare dirt ground 
and the eloquent shrines.
The birds survive 
hundreds of years 
stronger, not broken –
their DNA realigned, 
re-purposed and re-created –
the evolved mutations 
of their lives’ time span.

Feathers fall like snowflakes,
as the birds comfort us 
in the shower of their memories. 
I honour the birds’ flight 
to create purity and silence.
I watch and learn from the birds,
so I too can create quiet –
I distance myself 
by flying away 
from the source of the noise.
Everything diminishes 
in the zone of flight;
tears, snowflakes, feathers
all blend into white noise of pure light.
My external world unfolds into peace, 
as my internal world holds harmony.

I remember the elder lady of Hiroshima, 
meeting her was not chance.
She transformed her collateral state of damage 
into being a states woman of peace.
From her point of view 
I had no responsibility in the exchange -
Hiroshima is still, simply, feeling, 
the effects of atomic creation and destruction.
Hiroshima is crying for us all; 
all who are alive, all who died,
all yet to be born, 
and all of us still 
living separate from the whole.

As her final moments approached 
she chose to create compassion,
to forgive and give the wisdom 
to regain a state of harmony.
By attuning to the forces within herself 
that govern her world,
she created an opportunity 
to bring about her own healing, 
and ours.
Atom destruction, evaporating emotions 
from our collective pool of feelings.

~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~
Sometime after he left Tibet,

Nawang Khechog wrote and said;
"May All Be Kind To Each Other."
"Peace Through Kindness."