Neighbors, Art, Peace and Neighbors’ Art Peace

Living local. It matters. There’s so much that happens where we live. But we don’t always appreciate that. We want to go somewhere else, do something bigger, “better,” than where we are.

But where we are has plenty of wonder and plenty of wonderful stuff. Our lives right here can be wild and colorful.

It’s odd we so often choose not to see and enjoy the color of our lives, that we can cling to the lack — but really… it’s pretty grand. And we can help make that so. So let’s Neighbor. Let’s Art. Let’s Peace. Let’s go back to living la vida local! Proud and Outloud… and giggling all the Way. There’s Peace in that!



Disciplined Practice for Peace

My husband is the best role model I have for pursuing a dream. I didn’t know him as a child, but watching him now, I know that he went after his dream 50 small hand motions at a time, and repeat.

He started when he was ten. He still does those things today. His hands have been hurting recently, so he starts as he always does, with them. Can’t do it the way he used to? what’s the new way to do it.

Then once those motions are in place, again, again, again, he can explore the music. Not that he doesn’t always explore music, but he gives it the honor it is due.

We have to be that for Peace. Practitioners, Practicers. Peace is an Art. You don’t just do art, you develop it. Same with Peace. Every day. Deliberate acts. Here we go.


Slothful Peace

Some people think sloth is a vice, but nonsense. There are times when sloth is the only answer. And then it’s up to you to make an art form of it.

When the stones are sun-warmed and the breezes are blowing? What better thing to do but appreciate the gift?

Days like this are rare. Say thank you. Appreciate it. Live into it.

Settle in for some Sun-warmed, slothful Peace.

Peace of the Sun-warmed stones to you, my dears.


Shadows and Peace

We live in a world dominated by fear. Maybe that’s always so. Maybe because I came up in the generation I did, graduating college in the mid-70s, there was the thought that things could change — and would keep on changing.

I guess they did, but the clouds above aren’t big and white and fluffy, hopeful sort of clouds, they are grey and low-hanging. They are clouds of fear and hate.

I’m astonished by the hate. I realize I’m hopelessly naive about the hate and the fear. Between my family, my religious up-bringing, my year abroad as a Rotary Exchange Student, and my tiny, little women’s college attended in the 70s, I really thought we had the blues on the run. I’ve seen hope triumph and assumed it triumphed forever. It didn’t.

The stupid, hateful fear-mongering that is going on now, the casual disregard for one another’s humanity is horrifying to me. And it’s so big. Hard to know where to enter the fight.

As always it comes back to our choices. We can’t give up on the macro level, we have to participate. I do best working here at home with like minded people. Tiny little acts of love and courage. But we cannot be out of touch with those who do the other work. They are our neighbors too. We can help them keep believing that there are reasons for Hope, that change is possible. We must feed and nourish their souls even as we struggle to find ways to feed and nourish the people of our towns and cities and countrysides.

Under threatening skies, let us build shelters for our neighbors and ourselves. Let us build enclaves of Hope and Beauty, Art and Commerce. Let us understand that storms pass, because they do, however horrible they are in the meantime. But in the storms, we can be the light and the hope. We can push back the hate.

If we believe in Peace, we must do so.

I believe in Peace.


Peace of Having Gotten Somewhere

When asked how his music is different now, after all years of playing; he said he could now add to his notes all the color of emotion and expression.

What lovely insight. You do your work, you practice the scales and the pieces. You put discipline into your craft and gradually or maybe suddenly you realize that you and the music (or insert your art here) are playmates, free to explore and to be explored. Free to enjoy. Free to be enjoyed.

She talked more about the instrument and the way she’s gradually made this flute her flute. A new flute, different, bolder, more capable than any tool she’s ever played. She gets to bring her color to this new tool as well as to the music… and the music pours from her gift.

Do your work. Over and over again. Climb the steps and then swish down the sliding board — And then climb the steps again.

Their joy in playing was palpable. We can have that joy in our lives if we just do the work. And while that’s not a simple thing, it is an every day thing.

What joy these two brought their audience of friends who have listened for years. What joy they will bring those who listen for the first time. What joy they have in what they do. At this changing point in their career as musicians, what bigger Peace could they ask than to keep on doing what they love. What sweeter Peace can they offer? It’s a new Moon in their lives as well as for us. May it be filled with beauty.