The Lunatic Peace of Oh, There You Are

A friend wrote that the moongazing felt oddly lonely — and I thought, huh, that’s not my experience… (and may be what tomorrow’s musing looks at!)

But I find at night, when looking at the grandeur, when the present is present or when it’s traveling and away, that I’m aware of the Moon or the Stars peeking in the windows of those I love and those I haven’t yet come to love — Making the connections with my Moon Peace community… a prayer for Peace…

I wonder who’s also looking at the Moon and sending Peace. Do we start a FB page to find out? Do we remind ourselves that the moon sends her very soft light on us? I read a lovely series by Sharon Shinn in which she talks about the Moon Goddess and says that the Moon can only reflect what is given Her… I loved the metaphor…

Do we give the Moon Love and Peace to reflect? Do we make conscious choices about that? (tomorrow’s musing’s reshaping under my fingers as I write to you…)

Hmmm. I think I should probably stop and ponder that. May the sweet Peace of the Moon be with you, my friends, until we meet again…



Waiting in Peace, llvl

I have a lot to thank my parents, Sam and Betty, for. Some of it is very simple. They taught me to show up. (They tried to teach me to write notes and I confess, I’m far better at email that making sure I get my notes written.)

And because of their slow diminishment in old age, any terrors I might have had about the hospital were also overcome. (Someone once said, oh, horrible, you had to go to the hospital in the middle of the night by yourself. Oh, really at that point, piece of cake.) I had some rather wonderful late night giggles with both parents. And was glad to have a relief lambie at home to make mom comfortable. And thank goodness the nurses were really clear with Mommie-girl I should never bring her back.

But showing up. To say, “Look you have a baby how exciting!” “Oh, you’re feeling poorly, I brought some soup.” or “I’ll just watch while you sleep.” Or the really hard one: “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” And when you can’t get there physically, send a card. or a cheery email — because everything’s on line.

Those visits are made easier by the other visits, short and long, that we do over a beer or a cup of tea.

People matter so much to us, they make such a difference in our lives. It’s good to let them know. There’s a world of Peace in that. We might think of it as doing good, but we might just think of it as giving thanks… ‘Tis the season after all!


Peace Together, llvl

Collaboration isn’t always easy, but old tropes to the contrary, it often makes a much better product. (case in point, I interrupted my writing to open Deb Slade’s new pic for the week, wow!)

But I’m working on a workshop. It may become a book. It may become a bigger workshop, but right now, it’s a bunch of ideas. Slowly, with other people’s gentle hands and sometimes firm pushback, it’s emerging and taking shape.

Yesterday I had one of those conversations with my principal collaborator and some pieces got the big yawn and others the explosive wow, what if this or that. One person would move and then the others… pieces then either got knit back in or left in the dust.

It’s going to be a better piece for this. And with hope, we will shed the utopian, wouldn’t it be lovely pieces and move toward some, what if we did this, what kind of outcome might we get… oh, good, right. yes, that. what if. More on the theme… piecing Peace.

We’re poking at ages and stages of women’s development and aging, and looking at how we might work to support one another, and how we might grow and make Peace across the years… It’s still on the drawing room floor, but there are glimmers. And that’s exciting.

And working with friends on projects of Peace? That’s extraordinary. As my friend KJ sings, “you gotta believe.” Peace really needs us to believe that it’s possible!

After a day like yesterday, I believe. More than ever, I believe. We’re dreaming it, so we can do it. Dreaming together. oh, yeah…


Local Peace, llvl

This was a real living la vida local peace. Picnics made easy… set up in the park and get comfortable. Walk to the food truck and get fabulous food (really? Egyptian and Mexican food in downtown L-burg?). Wander back to the vendors for ice cream… local ice cream of course.

Chat with old friends. Wave at acquaintances. Cuddle the kids that haven’t yet grown out of it. Take pleasure in watching the connections grow up. Hear from the local committee about plans for the riverfront reclamation. (hopefully they’ll reclaim it from the poison ivy… oh, yuck!). Tubing was discussed at length.

This isn’t a perfect place. There’s a lot of work to do. But when you spend some time building connections, it’s easier to do the work.

And hey, sometimes you just have to put your feet up and have a little local Peace. And who knows? You might just run into your nephew at the bar when you stop for a drink to hear the band. And life? will be just all right! Peace and la vida local. it’s all right.


Sadly Seeking Peace, llvl

It always seems unthinkable when a child dies. All that promise suddenly disappearing from life. The laughter, the scents, the quirky mind, the strengths and the foibles — all gone in an instant.

A million whys, a thousand: well how did it happens can’t change the sad reality — can’t help us escape which is really what we’re wanting.

I’ve been thinking about child death a lot recently: the news reeks with it. I’m too familiar with this — too many dead children in my life. Too many dead children in the world that has become immured to the sight and forgotten the individual horror in these mass killings…

And then a chance encounter in the back yard with my senior high neighbor whose friend had just died with that agonizing burden of a friend, recently seen, now gone. Asking the hows and the whys but really, just wanting his friend back.

As a minister, I need to call those in my community whose hearts are breaking, the parents, the kids — oh the kids. Making dates to enfold and love. Standing steady for those who have collapsed in grief… Thinking gratefully that I have been so filled up from this summer that I can stand firmly in love for them. This is their tragedy not mine…

But inside, as a sister, oh, I missed my sister as I recall receiving my father’s call about my nephew and making the call about my niece. Sweet and Holy One, can I really have had to tell my sister and her husband their only remaining child was dead? And we were the ones who always called each other when bad news broke.

Please, my dears, say nothing other than oh, I’m so sorry, Oh, your poor hearts, O your blessed child. Release the I don’t know how you bear its because they have no choice… They don’t know how they bear it either. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. Call your family together, gather with your neighbors, immerse yourselves in Love, because Life is so damned precious and so damned fleeting. Peace eludes us in these moments. Hope is too far away. Only Love can keep our hearts beating in one common humanity of grief and eventually acceptance and then the far off healing of a grievous scar. Let us tend to one another and let us weep… Each child in each vida local, precious and needed. Each parent’s loving heart…


Fracturings of Peace, llvl

So. I made a zombie reference and used an adjective as a noun in order to make a really bad pun. Quelle horreur. Can I use my lack of sleep, jet lag and incomprehensible overlooking my need for caffeine? nah, probably not. As my buddy, Lenore, says, it is what it is.

There is so much that is terrible in the world. It may not be any more than is often terrible in this world and simply that we now live in a facebook reality where everything is not only heard but seen, in dying color.

I’m unable to shake clear to sort the laundry and people are being slaughtered — in my country and in others. Oppressed, in my country and in others. Derided…

And there are pieces of Peace to be tenderly put back together. Some days, we can’t do more than know that… and realize that the tomorrows are for getting back to work.


Your Peace and Mine, llvl

I love Sweden. I fell in love in 1969 and that sweet love has never been dislodged from my heart. I have 45 years of friendships that have become “family” connections. The language has a special place in my soul and on my tongue. The countryside is gorgeous and people here know how to sit and just take that in. Summer is short, but vacations are long and so are the days. Swedes do what they can to enjoy every minute, and this year, summer cooperated with warm, sunny weather. I spent more time sitting and looking at scenery with a cup of tea or a glass of wine in my hand than I have since I left here four years ago.

The things they fret about with their social system are things we would be so happy to have. When I talk about what I’m working on with feeding hungry children, they look at me as if we’re barbaric. Children are fed and housed. There’s public transportation. They’re the world’s standard for low use of antibiotics in animals, both in pets and meat production. They don’t use dyes in food. Even their toilet paper isn’t bleached. There’s so much going for it, and I love how I feel when I’m here. And goodness knows, there are those friends.

There’s a place for me on many a sofa, but in the end, it’s a visitor’s place.

I have often fantasized about living here. Early in my life, I applied for a job as a secretary. (Boy, are they lucky they didn’t choose me, I was a lousy secretary in English.) Yesterday, with my friends off moving their kid to his new house, I checked to see how alive that fantasy was. You know… not very.  I’m not only missing my husband, I’m missing his music and the community gathered around it. I miss my friends and the life we lead. I know the rhythms in this household very well, but they’re not mine. And I miss my work. I miss the joy of it, the challenge of it, and the pieces that make a difference.

Retreat and respite are lovely. I’m not looking forward to leaving, to opening my arms and letting these good friends step back. It’s so hard not knowing when I’ll get back. I know how privileged I am to have them at all. But it doesn’t make it easy to go, however excited I will be to have you all back in my life. I’m not really even anticipating coming home. But it has popped up in my mind, finally, that I will be going home and it will be fabulous.

In the meantime, I will keep enjoying Swedish Peace, drinking in every last jot of its beauty. I will also remember that it’s not my Peace — or perhaps that it’s not all my Peace. The full hearts of global citizenship have to be balanced with the knowing and the missing of friends and traditions… and you know me… food. Here’s to celebrating the Peace of each place and finding that Peace which calls our hearts most deeply. Here’s me, giving thanks.


Peace Traditions, llvl

It’s the little things. It’s the places you go and the people smiling across the table at you. At Taco Friday, it certainly isn’t the food, although that was fine. But it was sitting in the sun — at six-thirtyish at this point in August, it’s really still pretty high in the sky.

It’s the friends. And the fact that we’re doing it again. Just like we did four years ago… or six years ago or…

This is what makes the oh-so-mundane sacred. If you’re going to have traditions, you have to step up, show up, something up… and care for them and for the connections that make them sweet.

Peace takes tender overtures, but it also requires continuing to show up… and sometimes it’s right in front of your face!


Serendipitous Peace, llvl

What are the odds. On the right street, at the right time. Just two minutes either way and my friends from six hours away would never have seen us walking into the parking lot behind the house. The two couples had met four years ago when Bengt and Titti came north to Lorraine and Kjell’s stuga to meet Steve and me. So much fun.

I hadn’t told any friends on the other side of Sweden I was coming. The travel is too much. Sweden is, after all a big country… and after the train problems I just described, It’s not as easy as it should be! And it all seemed pretty safe. It was not as if I was going to run into anyone, right?

But there we were. Off all the towns on all the streets, they had to have had lunch at that restaurant and finished at exactly the right time.  Lorraine and I were just coming home from sending home a package and there they were. We jumped around a bit, hugged a lot and took them home for tea and coffee. We jammed a weekend’s worth of catching up on four years into an hour. We laughed. We cried. We hugged some more. And they got into their car and drove away.

It could not have been a sweeter encounter. And how serendipitous. Forty-five years of love, running into itself on a small street in a small town far away. This woman knew and loved my family and in that odd way of Exchange Students she is my family. Sometimes Peace is the sweetest of surprises!


Regular Peace, llvl

It’s nice, after lots of wonderful visits, to have some slow and “normal” days. Normal, at least, in their lives. Normal in the times I have been with them. Nothing sweeter or more intimate than to live beyond guest-hood and be invited into the life where projects are completed, trips to the hardware store are undertaken, where life is at is…

Looking at Deb Slade’s photo made me realize that they live one block from the river and one block from downtown. I live two blocks from the river and one block from downtown. Beauty and convenience at our fingertips… So their normal is somewhat familiar, although their two young men, one who’s arrived home and one who comes home on Friday are not MY normal. But fun and wonderful men, nonetheless… and somehow while I’ve been back and forth and away all these years, are grown ups! All my friends’ children have grown up. Imagine. And here we are, making new memories, making family!

The sweetness of life is in many things. These tiny things, the treasure of having these tiny moments, with dear friends. The connection with you all.

(It’s also in big things. I just found out that I have had a workshop accepted for a conference this fall. I’ll be exploring the Five Fold Goddess of Peace with Kelly Himmsl Arthur of Thinkpeace Workshops for Girls. Oh my!)

Time to inhale and exhale, with lots of tiny, unimportant places to go.