Pride and Peace

I have wonderful friends. I know wonderful people. People who do ordinary and extraordinary things. People who do things to the best of their abilities. People who stretch beyond what is expected of them… whether by others or by themselves.

We have this weird thing going on in today’s culture…  we have both very low expectations of people, jumping up and down when you phone in a an experience — and ridiculously high ones: failing to notice when when people reach deep into themselves and pull out all that is bright and beautiful and put it to work.

When we do our halting best and do a good job, that means something.

Too often we don’t turn to those we love — or even to those we barely know and say good job you worked so hard, you really tried. Not even you succeeded — you worked your heart out on that. The least I can do is be present enough in the moment to notice and to tell you.

And it’s good to know that your friends treasure your work because they know what it costs you. We all do a lot of things that aren’t the easy things for us. We should be proud of ourselves. And we should be proud of people we know. And we should tell them.

I know this is dicey. I know that that pride can be a dangerous thing. It can become more about the pride and less about the doing what needs to be done.

But sometimes we need that encouragement. Sometimes we are so petrified at what we’re undertaking it means the world to have someone turn and say, yep. you’re doing a wonderful job. Keep going. You’ve discovered new possibilities. You’re working hard and doing good. A friend of mine always used to say 5 attaboys or attagirls for you. Yes, you.

My friends, I’m proud of you. Be Peaceful with yourselves. You’re doing the best you can — so much more than you imagined you could.


The Peace of the Equinox

I have a predilection for the places in between. Which is sorta funny, if you consider how black and white I can be about things…

But the Equinox: the notion that there is balance in the world is a reminder to us to look for and even create balance.

The Equinox hustled in this morning when we were sleeping at 4:21.

For all who are fasting today, I wish you a sweet and easy fast.

And I invite us all to consider, standing still around the noon hour and consider occupying just that space and observe the world around you without the stain, or shadow, if you prefer, of all your thoughts about the world. Try for a moment to watch it just be what it is without any relation to you.

Relationship is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to try and see things for themselves. It may give us some ideas about how to move forward.

Forward, that is, into Peace, the ultimate Balance, the ultimate wonder. (and oh, ps, don’t forget to try balancing the egg on its fat end! Go on now, try it!)


There’s a Lot of Work between Here and Peace

After the happy dance for completed work yesterday, the reality set in.

There are miles to go. I’m not going to say before I sleep, because we’re going to need the sleep to keep going.

It’s a journey.

There is so much work that needs to be done. And for each of us, if we choose it, so much that we can do, something that is specifically geared to our talents that is helpful. As Mahatma Gandhi said: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service to others.”

Yeah. I’m on a soap box… I keep thinking about the hungry kids. I can’t solve the employment problem which is really at the heart of this… I can just ask for money to feed the kids while someone else does their part. What’s your part in Peace?


Review. Finish. Celebrate.

It was so fun to be dancing around with my friend/colleague/co-conspirator yesterday after we finished the grant application.

I’m not sure that everyone appreciated it, but oh, well.

It wasn’t just the doing of the application… the plowing through, finishing it up. Although that was wonderful.

It’s not often you get to take a task from awareness to completion in less that 48 hours! Zoom.

It was the recognizing what we’d done and what we’d set up to continue doing that was grand. And then we received a letter that confirmed that what we thought we were doing, people who were using the money we raised ALSO thought we were doing. That was a great joy.

And a great encouragement to keep going. So. would you like to help feed hungry kids? Go to Love Flows and donate. $10 a month feeds two kids. Amazing, eh? You can change two kids lives for $10 a month. Right here in River City.  Want to start your own program doing something anything to help? It will make a difference.

It will build Peace. And that’s what we’re here to do. Make a difference. Build Peace. And Celebrate when something works! Yahoo!


Visiting Peace, Ancestor Peace

My mom was a great sick mom. She made special simple foods. In the closet were the bed aids: Sick table. Sick pillow. If you were really poorly, she would come and set up her sewing machine or something and sew while you were sick.

I was heir to the sick accoutrements. So, when you fall and break your leg, you can count on me to run over with Great Roberts’ dinner tray, now dubbed the sick tray and a whole host of pillows. I’ll even empty out the drawers on a side table and cart it along.

And when you break your knee, you need the sick aids. You’re going to need them a long time. No problem, we deliver. In the name of the mother and the sister and all who went before, here’s a snickerdoodle or twelve I asked someone to make for you…

Peace, my sweet niece. Sure glad my nephew brought you into our lives. Here’s to healing and renewed good health.


Needed: Pink Moon Sabbath Peace

The world needs a Peace that’s pregnant with possibilities. It needs a Peace that holds that Life is sacred and stops for a moment just to be present to it.

This weekend, which is the weekend of the first Sabbaths in the Pink Moon is just such a weekend to contemplate that Peace. Spring is, snow notwithstanding, burgeoning. This is a moment in time where everything seems possible.

Maybe we need to take a pause, relax and refresh ourselves… and as the song says: start all over again.

Right now, we’re watching one jihadist who grew from a basketball-loving kid — but there are thousands of them. The fault is not just in them, it is in a world that fosters that need for structured hate.

In moments when I feel most hopeless when I see what’s going on “over there,” I have to remember that some of that started here. I can’t do much about over there. I can do something, no matter how small about over here. Because today it’s Minneapolis, tomorrow it could be the Susquehanna Valley. Despair has made itself at home in a lot of people. And lest we point fingers at one religious group, let us remember our white supremacy groups of which my home state has so many. It’s the same hate, it just dresses differently.

We then, are the answer, the antidote, we and the inspiration of this beautiful spreading Spring and a new Moon of Possibilities. Let us pray… and then let us get to work!


A New Generation of Peace Lunatics

It’s easy to become discouraged, even desperate, when we consider Peace. What will happen to our world, we wonder…

Antidote to despair: spend some time with some kids.

I had the most wonderful couple-hour conversation yesterday with a sophomore in college. She’s majoring in mechanical engineering because she wants to work on alternative energy. She’s a proud student athlete who loves sports and but maintains a solid gpa.

If the alternative energy angle wasn’t enough, she’s working on keeping tigers from going extinct. Apparently there’s a coalition of all the schools with tigers as mascots and they’re raising money for tigers (only 7 species left and 3,200 tigers, act now!) And then we talked about how else she and her friends might be active and how she might expand not just the numbers of friends she had, but the kinds of people she knows, people who weren’t student athletes in engineering.

I already adore this young woman so I knew it would be a pleasure to talk to her. But she was so passionate about things that matter. However she can continue to saving the world, she’s in.

She has great parents. I know them and like them a lot. She went to the best of the local schools — and it’s a good school. It’s a privileged life here, but her family is aware and helps their kids stretch. She grew up in the church where I work, so I’ve been watching her for years. They had a great youth group, liked each other, had fun. Parents matter. Good communities matter.

I’m very proud of the two communities I’m involved with, the UUCSV (and the parent organization the Unitarian Universalist Association) and thinkpeace workshop for girls. But I know there are lots of other great parents and great communities who are teaching great values and reminding us that Peace matters.

So let’s give our kids the tools they need to become lunatics for Peace and teach them to do good. There are so many children under this soft white Moon, let’s make them one another’s allies…


Cow Peace, llvl

Living in the country, I wind up learning country things.

Who knew that calves could be escape artists between the second and third wires?

I never dreamed I’d be worrying about untangling a goat either when I moved here. After all, I’d lived here before and never untangled a goat in all those years. I never worried about loose calves then either.

But I like having farmers I can ask questions and get answers like, they milk at six, they’ll be home. (It was 5:30!)

I do try and notice the Earth, although I’m not a very back to Nature or dig in the dirt kind of girl. But I take the web of life seriously. And I work hard at being a good neighbor, at doing good. So, when the cows are at Peace, I can be too.

(and besides last night was the night for the animals to have the gift of speech if you’re a Pagan, you wanted him to be around to talk to the sheep, didn’t you? And you didn’t want him to be on the loose…)

Peace on Earth everyone… and watch out for free ranging calves.


Peace Encouragement, llvl

They’re here from all over the world. And people have come in from all over to encourage them. Gay and straight, men and women. More straight men are needed. Quite a few of them are young, young, young. A surprising amount of them are people of a certain age. They’ve been at this for years. And they can talk about the grit and the dreams and the computer apps with the best of them.

Sex ed, it’s not for the squeamish… But it is for the kind. There were sessions on the elderly, sessions on people with disabilities, sessions on sexting, sessions on how the hell we got in this predicament anyway. Some of them were simply informational, some were simply ho-hum, and some were simply inspirational. A conference like any other, but with a great goal. There were 650 people paying attention — a huge, do-gooding, optimistic, learning/learned community.

Bill, the man we came with, came to introduce Jane Fonda. Yeah, Jane Fonda, who now has dedicated her life and no inconsiderable amount of money to the children of Georgia. For 20 years, she’s been running a program entitled Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. Along with other efforts in the state, in that amount of time, the number of pregnant teens in Georgia has dropped by 50 percent. They’ve changed their name to Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential. you go, gurl!

What was really fun was that our kids from church were featured in a vid that introduced Jane’s book, “Being a Teen,” because they’d read it in our Our Whole Lives program. Our kids will be doing peer work in their schools, because they can, because they know, because they believe it’s important. And it’s not just about sex, it’s about image, ethics, self-awareness, decision-making. We’re all proud.

We’re all better educated.

And at least some of us are ready to leave a group of 650 enthusiastic folk and go back to sermon writing! But what a (one-time) privilege!

There are a lot of different ways to make Peace. Keeping kids safe, helping them become knowledgeable, helping them stay on course to get what they want in life, helping them dream beyond this very minute… these are great tools for Peace. Blessed are these particular Peacemakers. Blessed are they all.


Voting Peace, llvl

Vote. There’s really not much more to say.

Oh, well, unless you’re a person of color and/or a woman. Then, really, vote. Cause people died so that we could. Or poor. Because many of the people who do vote are not voting in your/our best interest. But if you vote, that makes a difference.

Are you a patriot? Vote. Proud of your country? Vote. Think things should change? Vote. Care about what happens in your little community, in your vida local? yep, Vote.

Turn out. because while we’re walking around thinking we’re proud to be Americans, the rest of the world just thinks we’re ignorant and apathetic. Because we have freedoms and the only one we seem proud of is to own guns. Voting. It’s a thing. It’s a doing good thing.

Hope it’s yours. Get out there and vote for Peace.