So Few Who Tend the Peace

I’m still haunted by that very quick conversation with the emigré… You don’t know what hard is…. You don’t know.

I’ve seen a lot and, yet, I believe him. Because I’ve heard stories filled with pain about things we cannot comprehend. And we live in a country where a lot is wrong, and still, we don’t know.

And I work hard at helping us see those things that are wrong, I look hard at myself and my great, great privilege. And I’m sure I miss plenty.

But I think we who search for the wrong, get so earnest that we forget to celebrate the right… and lavishly… We forget to let people know that life is grand and everyone should have access to the grand things…

We forget our rights (privileges) and we forget our responsibilities. They expected less than 30 percent of registered voters to turn out. Less than 30 percent. And this was the only sentence I could find about how many citizens are registered to vote. “Among eligible voters, some 30 percent of African Americans, 40 percent of Hispanics, 45 percent of Asian Americans, and 41 percent of young adults (age 18-24), were not registered to vote in the historic 2008 election.

So I found this conversation enraging. Wanna be an american and be all up in my face. Vote, dammit. Peace doesn’t make it self. We do. So let’s do it.


Spiraling toward Peace, llvl

Whether I’m writing or plotting a campaign, I find the way is never straightforward. Much of the time it takes to accomplish something is not the actual writing (or doing), it’s what’s needed to allow things to assemble themselves.

Really — aren’t brains remarkable? To think of little thought molecules flying apart and then reassembling while we wait (and — sometimes — wait and wait). Then there’s the need for that oh-so-important red pencil, because, really, just because one paragraph flows from the next doesn’t mean that you don’t have a detour on your hands.

And it doesn’t seem to matter how much attention I’ve put into things beforehand. I can travel around with a project on my heart for a week or so, and still find that nothing is straightforward… Ideas and projects seem to have minds of their own! And part of the realization is that the way is never straight, there’s no one direct line between here and there.

Maybe the process is simply one of making Peace with the slow and meandering nature of project-making, of allowing myself to be informed by the information I gather and the need that’s trying to express itself. I’m certainly grateful for the opportunity… but it does take time, which sometimes makes me grumpy.

And discipline… I never thought I’d be great at the discipline part, but I guess I simply didn’t have anything I cared about enough to hone a craft. But even daily and weekly repetition of the craft doesn’t eliminate or even dwindle the amount of time a project needs to become what you want it to be and what it wants to be. I find the words teach me. I may think I have a clear idea where a story’s going and then it picks up and moves. Then I have a lot of work to do to discern whether I’m getting closer or farther away from the heart of the matter.

The vision of a spiral does help, to consider on working downward and inward on ever tighter circles, coming constantly closer to the heart of the work is an image that sustains — but really… sometimes I long for work that I can just get out of the way. I guess I should take up ironing! I’m not sure how ironing will contribute to world Peace, however…

So I guess I’ll walk the Peace spiral, do the hard work, and be grateful. Not everyone has the possibility, the privilege, of waking up and doing what you love. I do. And I give thanks. Peace be with you on the crooked, meandering spiral of life.