Thursday, November 05, 2009

Dona Nobis Pacem


It's that time again. The annual Blog Blast for Peace when bloggers from around the globe take time to send a wave of prayers for and thoughts of and about peace out into the Universe. This event is the heart child of Mimi at Mimi Writes.

What to say about peace in a world that seems so hell-bent on its alternative... I'm find it hard to find words for the jumble of thoughts that are churning around in my head.

As anyone knows who visited my blog during the elections last year (and any time since), my otherwise mild mannered self is rabidly political. I find it hard to maintain my sense of peace and live-and-let-live in the face of people whose views seem so counter moral to me (as I'm sure my views seem to them). I don't understand levels of greed that allow people to leave others homeless so that they can have more money than any one human being needs. I don't understand people who think that if they have health insurance, that's all that matters, that the inconvenience of having to wait a day for coverage trumps waiting a life time. I don't understand people who feel that they have a right to legislate someone else's morality. I don't understand people who claim to be Christians yet ignore things like "even as ye have done it unto the least of these... and do unto others... and judge not lest ye be judged and... my list goes on and on." And I find myself becoming the thing I hate, feeling judgmental and cranky and anything but peaceful. When I listen to the Glenn Beck's and Limbaugh's, to the Ann Coulter's and Sara Palin's I have a hard time living my own ethic. I know that these are wounded souls on some level, but they speak hate and live to spread fear and discord. They prey on ignorance and the ugliest aspects of the American Spirit and thought I try to send love, I find myself often drawn into the vortex. Peace will come, I hope, when people like me don't get drawn into that vortex but rise above it, when we stop giving it power and put our energy into being for equal rights and healing rather than against petty dark souls who really aren't worthy of all the attention that they get. I still struggle with finding that capacity for peace in my own small life.

It's much the same, it seems to me on the grander international scale. I have often bemoaned the fact that the leaders of Israel and Palestine leap at any excuse to fight. One crazed lunatic blows himself up and peace treaties are thrown away for over-the-top retaliations that breed more crazy lunatics. It makes my head spin and it makes me sad. But aren't I the same here in my tiny kingdom? I let the hate mongers make me foam at the mouth.

I'm still carrying a lot of anger about what was done to my country over the past years, dragged into a war that should not have been, dragged into the moral perversity of torturing other human beings and imprisoning them without trial in conditions that are less than decent. I'm carrying a lot of anger that those who supported this horror are still fomenting fear, obstructing putting these mere mortals into American prisons (like we couldn't handle them... what are they? Sorcerers? If they were that powerful they would have escaped already...).

I don't like wars but I have less certainty than I once did about what's right and wrong. Is it peaceful to give over the people of a nation to those who kill people for disagreeing with them, who abuse women as a matter of "faith," who have perverted a peaceful religion into an instrument of mass murder and suicide? I have always believed (and still do) that violence begets violence. And yet I don't know an answer to hate as a faith. I don't know the answer to it on the world scene or on the local scene where there are those who think my friends shouldn't be able to love each other because they are both men.

I am grateful for our new president. He hasn't proven to be Superman. Hasn't leaped the Republican Party in a single bound, fixed the broken economy with a snap of his fingers, or gotten jobs for every citizen in 10 months. He has taken steps, though, at home and abroad. He has opened doors to talk with others about the issues that divide us. That alone has shifted the energy of the whole planet. Yes, I want all the guns beaten into plow shares and I want everyone to have a home of their own and a high paying job and more than enough to eat. And I want it yesterday. But change takes time. People who visit me regularly, know that I have had a major miracle in my life. A year ago in July, I wrote to an organization that helps people like me and asked if they could help me get a ramp to make my home easier and safer to get in and out of. For months I didn't hear anything and I figured that I hadn't made the cut, but then about 6 months after I applied, I got a call saying that they wanted to make a house inspection. Turned out that not only would they give me my ramp but a new bathroom with a walk-in shower and a more user friendly kitchen. I couldn't believe it. I was excited but then it seemed like nothing was happening... 5 months passed as paper work and applications and drawings were made. And then suddenly tons of things happened. For two months my home was in chaos with people hammering and pounding and painting and working... and "suddenly," my home is a new paradise of sorts with an entry I can use without panic. I can take a shower without wondering if I'm going to live through climbing in and out of the bath tub, and my kitchen... what can I say about having storage and counters and a sink I can reach? What can I say about having my washing machine where I can get to it? Thank you, for one thing. But my point (yes, I do have one) is that change and miracles don't always rise up in an instant. Like most things, they grow and evolve and then suddenly - like a flowers blossoming on a tree - they are miraculously there.

I practice gratitude religiously. Years ago I learned a Hawaiian adage: energy flows where attention goes. What we pay attention to, we bring to ourselves. I start and end my day giving thanks for all my blessings, by name. I give thanks for water when I drink or when I shower. I give thanks for the life force of the food I eat. I give thanks for my friends and my cats and for money to pay my bills (even when I don't quite have it). I think I want to remember to give thanks for world peace in the days to come (even though we don't quite have it yet).

This is long and rambly and I'm not sure where I'm going, having dragged anyone patient enough to read through all these words. I guess where I'm winding up is the belief that peace starts within. I don't think we can sit around hoping it will come to us. I think we need to generate it. I think we need to radiate it from our hearts and make the effort to generate love even to those we find despicable. (Limbaugh? Bin Lauden? Ugh.... I didn't say it was easy, but...)

And maybe first and foremost we need to generate it towards ourselves. I know I'm not going to always succeed. It's too much fun being pissed off sometimes and enjoying the wit of people like Jon Stewart to give up on crankiness completely. But still, I commit myself here and now with this post, to add my thanks for societal and world peace, to be grateful for every word spoken in peace, every step taken to stem violence and rape and murder, to give thanks for the Mimi's of this world and all of us who have participated in this blast for peace.

Peace be with you. Peace be with us all.

20 comments:

Carletta said...

I knew you would have a post today and aside from Mimis I came here first. :)
I love your peace globe with its eloquent words - very nicely done my friend.

Travis said...

You've got it figured out. Even though we can let fear mongers make us hopping mad, we still have power over what we do and how we think when we calm down and regain control.

Congratulations on getting a home that is more conducive to a peaceful life.

Jamie said...

Making the rounds as we celebrate another Dona Nobis Pacem blogblast. May you and your companions enjoy a quiet peace. Never let the noise from outside disturb what you know is right in your soul.

secret agent woman said...

Enjoyed the post - rambling is good for the soul. Peace to you on this day.

Anndi said...

Raven,

I just want to hug you!

I love when you ramble, I do. Yes, it is hard to take sometimes, when people just don't seem to get it. And when they spew things that offend my sensibilities and make me shake my head I try and remember that if only I could try and understand what makes their "wounded souls" take the path they've taken, maybe I can make a difference.
Don't worry about those moments when you "falter"... it's a sign of your humanity and that you care.

Understanding will bring me My Peace.

Peace... It's all I've got, and I'll give it to you.

Love

Bond said...

Thank you for participating in the BlogBlast For PEACE!

What a wonderful miracle you received this year...

We need to stay strong against the hate-mongers..for they shall be defeated if we do so.

VinnyBond

storyteller said...

As always, you've given voice to so many of my own conflicting thoughts and feelings ... and, like you, I choose to practice gratitude and keep my attention on what I want rather than what I don't. I do believe peace begins within then spreads outward ... (as Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us) is a choice in each moment ... with each step we take.

I'm delighted that you are in the Universe (and the Blogosphere) and on days like this the story of the 100th Monkey comes to mind. Each one ... reaching one ... teaching and learning all the time.

Thanks so much for visiting all 4 of my Peace Posts and here's wishing YOU peace in each moment ;-)
Hugs and blessings,
Happily Retired Gal

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness; nothing so gentle as real strength." St Francis de Sales

Marilyn said...

It's really hard to not hate the hate mongers.

This was a wonderful post. Every word.

Peace be with you and yours.

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I take flight with your peace globe. and with your your words.

My justice & peace bw with out hurting world.

Walk in the Woods said...

☮peace☮

Akelamalu said...

The words on your Peace Globe say it all Raven and this is a wonderful post. :)

Dianne said...

your globe is beautiful Raven

I don't think it's crankiness, I think it's satire and snark - and I think they have a wonderful place in the world :)

Finding Pam said...

I finally just turned the TV off because I can't believe any of that garbage they espose. It is really depressing to hear the same old stuff over and over.

I am leary of all politicians. Until they prove themselves, I don't listen to them. Don't even get me started on the bunch of airbags in Congress. I do not feel I am being represented by them.

I am sorry, I try never to go there. It makes me too crazy.

I am so thankful that your home is finished and it is so amazing. I hope that you and the girls are enjoying it.

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting.

Peace and love,
Pam

Julia Smith said...

'What are they? Sorcerers? If they were that powerful they would have escaped already...)'

LOL!

Exactly.

Peace to you, Raven.

Karen Jo said...

Your globe is wonderful and your post is very insightful. I also believe that peace begins within and spreads outward. The hatemongers are hard to take, but meeting their hate with a peaceful heart will take away their power.

Sanni said...

Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful Peace Globe and being part of the movement. I enjoyed your thoughts, too.

May peace be with you and yours today and always...

Michelle said...

All I can think of to say is...

Crow bows head in deference to the wise words of Raven.

That was so well said, Raven. Belated Peace Day wishes to you!

Mimi Lenox said...

Raven,

I am so glad you have those things fixed to your liking.That was no small miracle to you. It reminded me also how very much I take for granted.

I do think gratitude is a powerful force. You are wise to activate it in your life. I love this line.."Energy flows where attention goes."

I so believe that in every area of our lives. I try to focus on the positive in the world but I often fail. I try to remain hopeful but I often find myself on my knees wondering how in God's name we here in this mess. I am human. We are all on this ball of dirt together trying to help each other and be peace. At least that is my goal.

Sometimes I succeed.
Sometimes I don't.

I am grateful for YOU and your highly passionate post.

You taught me a lot today and reminded me of much.

Peace,
Mimi

P.S. You are peace globe #1529 in the Official Gallery.
blogblastforpeace.com

Patti said...

Beautifully written post, Raven.
I am happy to read you have an accessible home now. Ralph uses a wheelchair so our home has been modified as well.

That is a miracle that has come your way!

I do believe that peace comes from within ourselves.

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