Wednesday, September 30, 2009

From the blog, "Selma In The City"....

I saw this only a few days ago, at the Australian wonder known as Selma, of the blog, "Selma in the City".
Had to share it with you!

Today is The International Day Of Peace.

When my boy was three or four years old he asked me what peace was. I remember the day distinctly because it was one of those questions like why do we have to die? or why do some people have to suffer? that leaves you feeling uncomfortable, leaves you feeling that there is no one answer that can adequately sum up the reasons those things happen.

I remember looking up at the sky for inspiration. I often look to the sky at such moments. It usually doesn’t let me down but on that day it regarded me with its still, smiling blueness like freshly laundered spring curtains and I could see no answers in its vast expanse.

No answers but the blue of the sky. And it came to me that maybe that was the answer – the unwavering blue. So I tried it out to see how he would take it.

Peace is when people can stand and look at the sky and marvel at the beautiful blue without worrying that someone is going to come and tell them to stop or make them go to a place where they can’t see the sky anymore. Peace is being able to look at the sky and not be afraid.

Simplistic, I know. Inadequate. Totally missing the point. Yet my explanation has remained part of the way my son regards peace. He has put his own spin on it as he has grown older. When he catches news bulletins in war torn areas he often speaks of the people who live there not being able to enjoy a sunny day, or to notice wildflowers growing by the side of the road or to hear the joy of birdsong.

It’s not their fault, he says. They’re too worried to enjoy those things because there is no peace.

So what is peace?

Is it the absence of war or conflict or an army occupying your country?

Is is a mental state or a physical one?

Should it be visible?

Should we feel a ripple of apprehension as we bandy the term about because we know in our hearts that the peace we actually think of when we say the word – the still blue sky kind of peace – is unattainable in this imperfect world we find ourselves in?

There has to be a chance of it. There has to be a chance for people the world over to feel it at least once in their lifetime.

We speak so often of peace in our countries steeped in democracy. We go on and on about liberty and freedom and our rights. But do we really understand what it would mean to not experience those things? To perhaps never experience them.

Maybe the answer does lie in the unstinting blue. Maybe we are meant to look up at one of the most amazing sights we will ever see and breathe in the wonder of it. And feel at peace. And want others to feel the same. Maybe that thought is where we start.

Maybe that thought leads to another and another. And yet another.

Maybe that thought is all we need to say – enough. It’s not right people should live without peace.

Maybe that thought will lead to enough action so that one day we can say to anyone in the world – go in peace – and know with confidence that such a state is possible.

Maybe I’m a dreamer.

But maybe, just maybe, the tenacious, glittering, enduring blue really is the place to start.

Be sure to go to Selma in the City for more musings from this lovely woman.
Peace, kids.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Last night, I was thrilled to be surrounded by fellow-Catholic-Christians who do what I call "practicing what they peace." The aura of inclusiveness is astounding, from the opening prayer(We use prayers based on saints, we have done prayers from Jewish texts, etc.) to the song we ended the evening with(last night, a favorite song of mine:"And They'll Know We Are Christans By Our Love").
What occured in-between the prayer, and the song? First, we share "peace moments"--moments where we feel a renewal of spirit, of harmony, of peace--in our lives. Sr. Sally White, the most progressive, authentic person you'll ever meet, and our sponsor/moderator, spoke(nearly in tears) of how excited she is, seeing President Obama elected, and hearing him speak. She recalled the days(daze) of riding on buses as a child(she is a white person), when she cried while witnessing "the way the bus drivers treated our brothers and sisters"(she was referring, of course, to the mid-1950's-1960's, when it was so common to see Black Americans forced to the "back of the bus", being degraded, called names, etc.). We were all moved by her memories.
We discussed some upcoming events(check back in a few weeks; I'll have interesting news on a famous peace activist who may be visiting us, in March of next year(2010)!!).
Then lovely Stephanie, one of our newer members, gave a book report(each month, we select a book which will support our spiritual growth).
Fr. Ken, who has been with our group less than a year, is genuine and kind, and he possesses an acerbic wit. He often speaks of priests he's known who are, in his words, "brilliant"--many are well-known authors of philosophical works and spiritual doctrines-- and he recommends their books. Many of these same men have left the Roman Catholic Church "to marry, and have a family", which Fr. Ken seemed to understand(something many Catholics might want to work on--the concept of being "understanding").He also strongly urges inclusiveness for all gay people, and he advocates, always, for peace . I'm in awe of this man.
We also welcomed a brand-new member to our group, Patrick D., who came from very faraway to meet with us. Given the traffic in Atlanta, that's really saying something. Welcome, Patrick, to a spiritual home known as Pax Christi, St. Jude. Pax Christi is the organization; St. Jude's(the Patron Saint of Hopeless Causes) is the chapter.
It's easy to find fault with "organized religion", and maybe especially the Roman Catholic Church(with its' obvious misogyny(no women(yet!) officially allowed to be priests), "official" non-recognition of LGBTQ people, and the rule created about 820 years ago(long after the Church was established) that dictated priests no longer had a choice to marry(!), but instead had to remain single.
But Pax Christi is in service to what I feel in my heart is the true meaning of being what Christ asked us to be:
followers of Him.
Many of us are fearful of the word "Christian", because unfortunately, there are an awful lot of scary folks throwing the word around, and they seem to have missed the most important message Jesus--the "Christ", carried: Love.
Pax Christi ignites love in my heart. I feel tears in my eyes, and my breath catches, even as I type this.
Why, you say?
Because I have seen Love--the Love that Christ spoke of--when I am around these people. These people who support me: Lisa Allender, the writer/actress, the out bisexual, the happily married woman, the dog-owner, the A-theist for some 17 years.Late last year(in 2008)when I was terribly ill, and headed for the hospital, I received not only a beautiful card--filled with kind thoughts, and a reminder that they were all praying for me, and had a special Mass said for me--but also a check(no one is terribly "wealthy" in our group), to help out with my expenses. I had never asked for any help, and felt awkward accepting any(but I did). It's risky to even mention this, as all these people are too humble to want "credit" for helping. But they deserve credit.
They support me, they love me, and I see that love radiate from each and every one of them.
I'm very grateful to have them.
If you're reading this, and you're touched by any thing I've said here, and you think, well, I don't want to be "labeled" a Catholic, or even a Christian, I say to you:
Click on the links, below, to Pax Christi, anyway. In five minutes, you might have your heart opened to Peace & Social Justice in a huge way.
You don't have to "be" anything, or anyone, except yourself.
At Pax Christi, we have room for everyone who wants to be of service. Because when you spend Love, you never have a deficit, only a surplus.
Invest your time in Pax Christi--unlike the current world economic situation, you'll reap huge returns on this!

Peace, kids. Peace.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I lost April, but I'm in love with May!

The month of April got away from me. It was National Poetry Month, and that meant I wrote my li'l heart out! I had great inspiration--find out what it was, by hitting:
and scrolling to Right On, Delaware.
For the month of May, I'm practicing more gratefulness: for friends-who-blog(Collin Kelley, Cleo Creech, Selma of the blog, Selma in the City, Billie of the blog, Betmo's Corner, Melissa of the blog, Poet With A Day Job) family(shout-out to sis Tina; Mom-HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!) and Dad--John, and niece--Breaz), and faith(love and peace to all my Pax Christi peeps!!
What are YOU grateful for?
Details, please!
Peace, kids.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I like to think of Lent not as a Season of Denial, but a Season of Intention--if we focus our intention on that which matters most to us--our families, our cherished friends, gratefulness for our health, and thankfulness for our talents(which are surely given us, from God) we will feel the love and power of Holiness, manifest in us.
Locate the talents you possess, and use them to illustrate the truths in your life. Be an instrument of change, renewal, hope.
HOW to accomplish this? Volunteer. Even if it's only an hour per week, it matters. Reach out to the neighbor who seems cut off, or shut-in. Drop off food at the Food Banks, or Community Centers(currently, most are suffering from a shortage of food to give out, and a surge in folks who need food, and help!). Offer to walk a neighbor's pet.
And pray each night, for understanding. Not just for YOU to be understood, but for understanding, so you may "minister" to your neighbors.
For more ideas on volunteering, particularly with eldery folks, check out:
and scroll to my entry on the elderly(posted just days ago).
Peace, kids.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


It's easy to feel bad about so much in the world, right now.
But I will ask you, dear readers, to take a moment, every day until Easter Sunday (April 12th) to find at least one thing for which you are grateful. I know I'm grateful every day for my (improving) health. Meditate, pray while cleaning out a drawer or closet(My mother once told me "Anything can be done as a prayer" ), and give something up you don't need.
And think about how tremendous this Season of Joy, of Hope, of Renewal, truly is.
In this country(USA) we have a new leader who embodies HOPE.May we all support our new President Obama, and may we work towards common goals, and find common ground with those who would disparage us.
May we feel the Spirit of Christ within us. The God of Non-Violence will surely manifest in this world, soon. And we will all be blessed!
Peace, kids.

Friday, February 13, 2009


It's Feast of St. Valentine's, and it's an excuse to spread love, joy, and peace throughout your home, neighborhood, community, your city, state, country......the world. It begins with a smile, a hug, a kiss. C'mon, celebrate Valentines'Day!
Checkout my other blog, Lisa Allender Writes, for an article on kissing!
Peace, kids.

Monday, February 2, 2009


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!!!!!!I still love saying that, though I never doubted he would win, and win big!
The Inauguration is still on the TiVo--I cannot bear to remove it.
I was still ill, stuck in bed, but this time when I cried, it was not from pain resulting from my recovery from abdominal surgery, it was crying for sheer release. For release from the straitjacket of tension we've all been in, the past eight years of George W.'s Administration.
Even the folks I know who voted for George W., and claimed to love him, have confided to me they "wish he'd never been elected....we were wrong..."
This is no time to be looking backward, however. It's time to LIVE IN THIS AMAZING MOMENT--to Carpe' Diem'(Seize The Day!) and make the choice most of us made back on November 4th, YOUR choice, too. Even if you were unsure, or fearful, even if you could not bear to HOPE, you can, now.
You can, because "Yes, We Can", won.
That's not arrogance, it's bright confidence, infused with the humbleness of a man who asks, wants, and IS, your public servant as President.
If you have not yet visited the streamlined new link to your Federal Government, where The White House is actively recruiting YOU and YOUR SUGGESTIONS, please go to:
God Bless President Barack Obama, and God Bless Us All!
Peace, kids.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

"A Persistent Peace"

I am currently reading Fr. John Dear's "A Persistent Peace", a book which speaks about the life of a deeply humble, engaged and engaging, peace-filled, peaceful man. I received the book from one Michelle Halm, who ran across this blog, and when she read I could not attend(on account of my extreme illness) Fr. John Dear's appearance/book-signing at The Carter Center(a few months ago), she kindly and generously offered to send an autographed copy to me!
I'm learning the healing process from my surgery is much like the healing process we must all go through, where war, and our learned behaviors are concerned.I reframe pain as a challenge, not a difficulty, and we must re-frame, I think, what it is to be peaceful, to want peace, to create peace. We can begin to do that, by using the word Peace as a verb, anytime the opportunity arises.
We are fortunate to live in a world where literally, anything is possible. Let's reflect that reality--literally, in a literal way--by incorporating peace as a much-used verb.
Here's to 2009, and each of us stating we'll "Peace with one another, often and wisely."
Peace, kids.