In Summary…Keeping the Peace

This week was all about Keeping the Peace, or rather, keeping the connections, or rather, seeing where we’ve forgotten the connections and illuminating them. That might make more sense if you read this blog and this poem.

And Rumi entered the building with his wise words that I tried to incorporate into this blog. You can never have too much poetry.

The artwork for the week was one of my own and one of my favorites – Web of Life. This one is mounted on an old pastel piece I did 30 years ago called Lonely Tree. I was feeling very alone way back before I remembered so many of the connections that kept me sacredly bound. So the web of life papercutting set on top of it made the image so much more complete.

That same image became the backdrop of a favorite quote from Dr. Martin Luther King (there are so many grand ones from him, yes?) quotescover-jpg-40

Then two Facebook posts. The first from Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes on what it means to be an activist. My post and hers are written below:

My post: Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote these words and as I read them, I felt them as though they were my own. Like she pulled the mixed-up jumble of thoughts and loose ends from deep deep as well as those bubbling right on the tip of my tongue. So, yes…this.

Dear Brave Souls: Just a note from an old activist, your Dr. E.:

To be an activist
does not mean to wave
arms around
like windmill,
to suddenly erupt
like a rapids
rocked in
by boulders.

To be an activist
does not mean
to be outraged
and outraged
and outraged.

To be an activist
does not mean
to repeat
and repeat
that x is wrong
and so is y
and by the way,
have you seen
the atrocious z yet?

To be an activist
means to lift
the injured
right within
one’s reach.

I’ve told you,
I will keep telling you
to bring the best medicine
to the worst of the wounds,
right before you this moment.

Action, activist and activity
all have the same holy root
to them.

In ancient Latin,
the word activity
does not mean
to wander about,
to think it over and over,
as we all are wont to do
sometimes.

The words action,
activist, activity:
come from activitas.
which means Done.

Done.

Each Day.

Done.

‘Activity’ one of the most
odd and holy words
whose definition is
past tense,
rather than
present tense.

Which raises the question:
do we time travel as activists,
perhaps changing the web of life
for the better when we act
before the future overtakes
us willy nilly and against the good…

I send all my love to you in this time
that activity will be more and more
critically important
than ever before. Bless global, act
Local. Think small.
One’s home, one street, one road, one neighborhood,
a village, a county, a town, city, state, province.

Start anywhere. I know you know how.
Holy questions are, When? How often? For how long?

I suggest today, tonight, every day, forever.

All my love again,
dr.e

And the other Facebook post this week related to Keeping the Peace, particularly shedding light on forgotten connections, is related to the movie, Valentino’s Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs. My post was as follows:

Some follow up info and an offer!!

I shared this valuable, enlightening, educational movie – Valentino’s Ghost: Why We Hate Arabs – with all of you a few weeks ago. I had watched it with a group of folks at the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace and felt it helpful in learning about the media’s portrayal of our Middle Eastern neighbors, friends and fellow humans and how that influences our perceptions of them.

I was hoping to offer you a link to stream, rent or buy it yourselves but came up dry. Turned out it wasn’t offered on Netflix, Amazon, Redbox, the local video store, etc. My continued search led me directly to the movie’s website www.valentinosghost.com with contact info for the producer, so I thought, ‘What the heck? Why not?’ and shot off an email.

That email was promptly forwarded on to the Director/Producer, Michael Singh, who replied to me with a request to chat on the phone about it. Which we did. Yeah, you know, a normal weekday, chatting with a Hollywood director/producer.

Indeed, the movie isn’t available yet because it is being considered by a major movie studio and thus must be held from public viewing for the time being. BUT, Michael had an idea and a request – he’d send me a copy of the film to watch with my colleagues, family and friends in the role of researchers, i.e. offering feedback via a questionnaire he devised for us. The information gathered from us would be used for revisions, future films and whatnot. A cool opportunity and adds another layer to just watching the film for our own personal benefit, yes?

So, who’s game? I can pass the film around to those of you in the area and will be happy to mail it to those of you who are at a distance. We’ll devise a plan to carry all of that out once I get a feel for interest level and numbers. Either reply in the comments below or send me a PM if you’re interested. Thanks!!

So peace and connection to all of you! (And if you want to borrow Valentino’s Ghost, feel free to contact me.)

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One Comment on “In Summary…Keeping the Peace

  1. Would love to see this, Ellen, and perhaps to share it with the Peace and Justice Committee at Plymouth.

    Like

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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