Thursday, November 06, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem

It's blog blast for peace day, a day created by Mimi at Mimi Writes - when twice each year bloggers all across the internet and all across the world create a cyber prayer for peace.

I think the American public made a prayer for peace on Tuesday when we elected Barack Obama and I'm happy that this time as I blog for peace I feel like our prayers are flowing with the tide rather than against it.... I don't quite like that analogy. Maybe this is better. I have felt for so long like here in my country we were caught in a vortex of darkness, led by a pathetic man who was/is venal and greedy and probably something of a puppet to darker forces of this world. Today as I write this I feel like a great cloud is lifting. I love and admire Mr. Obama. I know he wants to prosecute the war in Afghanistan and that troubles me though perhaps it is a wise goal. War never seems like a good idea to me no matter the cause, but maybe controlled violence in the interest of stopping uncontrolled violence is a necessary evil. I don't know. I know we have a better chance of peace with a man who sees other human beings wherever he looks, who isn't so eager to demonize those he disagrees with that there is no hope for a meeting of the minds. I know we have a better chance of peace when we relate human to human instead of ideology to ideology. It's easier to hate a faceless "them," than a him or her whose eyes you look into, whose pain you see.

I was deeply distressed by the ugliness of the campaign that Mr. McCain and Mrs. Palin waged. Glad too, in a way, because I think it may have cost them the election. That makes me happy not just because my guy won, but because it says that some part of our consciousness has awakened to the truth that hate erodes us. My country has been like a blind amnesiac in a mine field for the last 8 years, unsure of who we were and afraid to move in any direction. We allowed ourselves to be guided by voices of deceit that led us not out of, but deeper into danger. Like a character in one of the soap operas I'm sorry to admit I watch, who as rewritten the history of the beautiful amnesiac in his care to suit his own purposes, Bush, Cheney and their commitee of thugs, took advantage of our shock and confusion after 9/11. And we let them. We went against our hearts. We went against our spirit. Like a sleep-walking giant we trampled on a lot of lives in our own nation and abroad.

Now we are waking up. Already, our eyes are seeing light again and our spirits are rising. I know this is melodramatic of me, but I feel like Mother Earth herself has breathed a sigh of relief. And I think maybe there are Angels dancing somewhere.
Peace feels possible. All kinds of peace. It seems possible that the poor may have some hope again. It seems possible that those struggling with illness may now have access to treatment without choosing between food and care, or a home and medication. It seems possible that affordable energy that will not take from the earth and will provide employment for many who need work may be with in our grasp. It seems possible that in the greater world people may be willing to sit down and negotiate instead of killing each other. It seems possible that we will begin listening to our better natures and that in so doing we will lead by example and inspire others to do the same.

I have long found it devastating that those in positions of power have used the acts of small numbers of troubled people as an excuse to ravage the lives of others, as an excuse to turn away from peace treaties, as an excuse to justify hate and the thing-if-ication of their fellow humans. I believe that thoughts have power and that we draw to ourselves that which we put our attention to. I try to focus on the positive, on beauty and the light. Being as fallable as I am, it hasn't always been easy when the so-called heart of power in my nation seemed bent on greed and war. Still, something in us - and in the world at large - must have shifted. We have drawn a man of peace into a position of power on the international stage. Our better angels have sung and I have to believe that their voices are only going to get louder in the coming days. I hope so. My new president elect gives me hope. Things like the blog blast for peace give me hope.

I couldn't find a vocal version of this song that pleased me so I went with this one. not quite angels, but...

Please check out the hundreds of other blogs posting for peace.

Dona Nobis Pacem

Here's a sing-along Dona Nobis Pacem for anyone who likes to sing.

One last thing: My gratitude for day #6: Well, I"m grateful for the blog blast for peace and for all the voices in this world that speak for, sing for, write for, pray for and live their lives in a spirit of peace.

P.S. A number of people have commented about the angel on my globe so I thought I'd add her story. She was a gift from a friend of mine on the 20th anniversary of my older sister's murder. Her wings read: "Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy." I wanted to include her as sort of a secret tribute to my sister.


♥♥ Willa ♥♥ said...

May GOD Grant Us Peace!

Napaboaniya.Elaine Ling said...

Peace for the whole world :)

~*~Patty S said...

Your post is beautiful Raven! Wishing you and yours Peace...our future looks so much brighter as of election day! oxo

Carletta said...

Beautiful post as always Raven!
Love this music!

Mine will be up shortly.

gabrielle said...

I learned this in junior high school choir and have sung it to myself when I felt hope was lost. I love singing it in round.

In an odd way, the lights remind me of Mitch Miller, another happy singer.

thanks for your posts full of heart.

Travis Cody said...

I think I know what you're feeling. Or, I should say that I know what I'm feeling and what you describe is a lot like that.

It's idealism.

President-Elect Obama has freed our idealism from the locker.


Barbara said...

Peace be with you,
We need more angles and more kindness in this harsh world.

Like the beautiful lady in your lovely peace globe.

Bobby Revell said...

Great post Raven! Thanks for visiting me - I have my blog blast post up now.

My personal political beliefs are much different than Obama's as I am a slightly left leaning libertarian. More than anything, I am thankful to see the end of Bush - and good riddance...LOL! Having said this, I still support Obama and he is very inspiring. I have no illusions about politics but I do think he has the potential to propagate change for the better.

I seriously hope he avoids getting caught up in the Washington game because so many others have in the past. I am hopeful for him and the rest of the world. Let the real work begin:)

Oh's great to meet you:)

Anonymous said...

Katherine, You write what so many of us feel. I love your writing and I love you.

Lizza said...

Your angel Peace Globe is lovely.

My voice joins yours in your declaration of gratitude for all of us who strive for peace.

Hootin Anni said...

Love the quotation you used on your globe for today. Excellent post.

Come on over, and read my impressions of peace if you can find time today.

Robin said...

Your "now we are waking up" paragraph gave me chills.

It is a new day now, we need to use it well.

Gattina said...

Peace and love to you ! I hope that the war at least in Irak ends ! Obama must be the hope of a lot of soldiers staying there !

storyteller said...

Lovely thought on your Peace Globe and so much of what you write here ‘resonates’ with my own thoughts & feelings during the campaign … and after when our greatest hopes were realized. I’ve prayed daily for the safety of Obama & his family … that Americans would vote from ‘intention’ rather than ‘fear’ … and that our nation would return to ethical behavior ... rebuilding a vision of peace in our times. I enjoyed the song … shared music at Small Reflections too in one of my Peace Posts.

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches that ‘Peace is in every step’ … a choice in every instant no matter what’s happening around or within us. As each of us blogs for peace today, we join our minds and hearts together to create this reality in our world.
Hugs and blessings,

Michelle said...

beautifully said. Adding my prayers for Peace.

From a Crow to a Raven.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful essay on peace in the world, and the music is perfect - it brings back a lot of campfire memeories from when I was a kid...

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

What a terrific Peace Globe and a well thought out and impressive post. Peace to you and those you love...

::: said...

Beautiful post and peace globe, delightful music, Raven.
Peace for us all.

MaR said...

Second try with my blogger identity:
Beautiful post and peace globe, delightful music, Raven.
Peace for us all.

Here is a version from the Vienna Boys choir...

Ivanhoe said...

I believe in guardian angels, Raven. The one on your globe is beautiful!
Peace and love to you :o)

Jeff B said...

I'm afraid this comment may rile you a bit. It really isn't intended to make you mad, but to point out a message of hope.

Your words of dare I say, hatred, towards Bush are very disheartening. While I completely agree that he has made many, many colossal errors during his terms as President, his era is about at the end. Continuing a feeling of resentment about him will only further a ill will in your heart. That can be tremendously hard on your emotional well being.

My hope is that we Americans can put our displeasure with him behind us and move forward under the new leadership of Barack Obama. I can already see and feel a new sense of hope and excitement that has been lacking for many years in this country. The struggles we face are still very present, but there now seems to be a, as he put it, "Yes we can" attitude ushering in.

If I've misread your words or intentions, please forgive me. Sometimes that is easy to do from words on a page.

I guess what my whole point of this comment would be is this: The past is just that, the past. We can't and shouldn't ignore it, but harboring on it will not push us forward, but only hold us back. We can all make a change, and that change is now.

Peace be with you Raven. I really hope this came out right.

j said...

Your peace globe was quite lovely.

Hope that you have a peace filled day.

Melli said...

Forgiveness and Peace go hand in hand... without one, there can never be the other.

Peace to you, Raven.

Sandee said...

Peace to you and yours honey. :)

Dianne said...

I commented to another blogger that when I voted I felt that I was shining a huge beacon of light into all the dark corners.

I love how you said something similar.

The story of the angel made me cry. Good tears though.

I love you Raven.

Raven said...

Thank you everyone for your kind comments. I feel a need to respond to Jeff B. First, it may be quibbling, but I don't hate Bush the person. I hate what he and his people have done here and abroad. While I agree that it is foolish to dwell in the past, I believe that the Bush administration committed crimes which must be dealt with. Hundreds of thousands of human beings are dead, others have been tortured and imprisoned in violation of US Law and the Geneva Conventions. These are not personal quibbles or minor infractions. If your child or sibling had been murdered, I don't think you would say - "past is past, let's just forget about it." I think you would want the rule of law to arrest and imprison the killer. Just because someone was a President and it's uncomfortable to deal with the fact that we let him do things in our name which were unconscionable, doesn't mean those things should be swept under the rug. We heal as individuals and as nations when we look at ourselves and our actions and take responsibility for them. I don't and didn't hate the boy who murdered my sister, but I did and do want him in jail for what he did.

You and others may say that these are not peaceful feelings, but I disagree. I don't think peace or love are static airy-fairy things where we float mindlessly on clouds. They take work and effort and working through the hard stuff. I think peace comes with introspection and approaching all things with integrity. Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney may well go unpunished for their crimes. There is so much else on our plates as a result of their actions. And we all want everything to be "nice." Certainly that would be the easy way. I don't think the easy way is always the best way or the right way.

When we don't own our mistakes, when we don't understand how and why they happen and when we don't hold our leaders accountable, then we remain vulnerable to repetitions of the same things. In my opinion accountability is one of the steps on the road to peace. That's not about hate, it's about right and wrong and honoring and obeying our own laws and holding those who break them accountable for their crimes. Justice and accountability are not revenge, nor are they acts of hate. They are about responsibility, accountability and ultimately about love of country and a passion for a peace which has the substance of honor and integrity behind it.

Whew. Sorry this is so long. Don't know how coherent it is, but I think it's important. Maybe I will try to write a more carefully thought-out response at some future date.

Mojo said...

Not such a "secret" tribute anymore... but quite a fitting one -- on this day especially.

I share your joy, and your hope. Your sentiments resonate in every corner of this dusty attic I call a mind. What you've said here echoes the thoughts I've held and written for the last several years.

But the thing that offers me more hope than anything else is that the great "silent majority" is silent no more. It has found its voice, and it has spoken emphatically and unambiguously. If the momentum that has been gathering for the last several months can be sustained, there is literally no limit to what a United States of America could accomplish.

I am grateful to the point of tears that it may be possible that I will no longer feel the need to apologize for being an American when talking to my friends and acquaintances from other parts of the world. I am grateful that we may finally have our country back, rescued from the clutches of those who rule with greed and avarice rather than wisdom. I am grateful for the grandmother who raised up President-Elect Obama right and taught him that no door was closed to him.

And in a recent post, I noted that I also feel a debt to the current resident of the White House. Because it took eight years of disastrous leadership to finally break the spell of ennui and apathy that held the majority of us in its thrall for the last 40 years. Any alcoholic will tell you that getting sober requires hitting bottom. Our country finally hit bottom during the Reign of Bush the Younger. And now it can begin the road to recovery and sobriety that will ultimately restore it to the position it once held as a beacon of hope to the rest of the world.

A standing ovation to you for this post Raven... I couldn't have put it better myself.

Dianne said...

It's me again, I just can't help myself ;)
first I wasn't going to address Jeff's comment, then I was going to agree with him - he is a good guy with good motives.
then I read your respnse and something else dawned on me ...

In the 'international venue of justice' we MUST reclaim our reputation of, as Reagan of all people said, the shining beacon on the hill. THE example that all follow.
If we do not hold our own accountable how can we ever speak to others about their transgressions - and without that credibility there can not be diplomacy and without diplomacy there can not be peace.

Gemini and Ichiro said...

That was a lovely post. I think our election was between fear and anger versus hope and peace. I think we made the right choice and I am thrilled.

Me. Here. Right now. said...

As someone struggling with my own anger over the election in California, I'm heartened that Obama was elected on the national level.

I hope he can make a difference. Hope is a powerful thing, I'm trying to remember that.

Carver said...

Great post and beautiful peace globe. Dona Nobis Pacem

Akelamalu said...

Wonderful post Raven and such a beautiful Peace Globe. :)

Lux said...

This was indeed a wonderful post and I commend you. I like the idea of us all taking a moment to visualize ourselves connected!

Peace to you,
Lux & family

ShannonW said...

May peace be will us all. I really enjoyed reading this post.

Mickey's Musings said...

Perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy."
That is a lovely sentiment!! Thanks for stopping by :)
Peace to you and your family :)

Purrs Mickey,Georgia & Tillie

Jennifer Chasse said...


Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful post, and I couldn't agree with you more. What we must realize is that the change we yearn for will not happen overnight. In the movement towards healing the brokenness of our country, there are going to be setbacks. That is why efforts like Dona Nobis Pacem are so important. We have to keep reminding ourselves that the goal is worth the wait.

Jeff B said...

Raven, I appreciate your well thought out and open response to my comment, and I'm so glad you didn't receive it as an attack on your views. In fact I agree with much of what you just said. Hating the man himself would do nothing but create animosity, hating his actions and wanting accountability are quite viable.

The truth is, he will probably never have to answer to any authority on this earth for his reasoning's. There are too many who will side with his decisions to let it come to that I'm afraid.

Dianne- Point well taken. Judgment without accountability is a slippery slope to try and navigate.

Thank you both for your response!

Dr.John said...

May God give you peace as well.

Julie said...

Very good! The globe is beautiful!

May the spirit of peace take over.

Napaboaniya.Elaine Ling said...

May we all find peace :)

Mimi Lenox said...

What a fabulous dialogue this has brought about here. I've read the comments and I do sense a spirit of communication that begins with open-mindedness and respect.
Do you think we might create our own United Blog Nation or something?

Well done. Well written. I'm glad I settled back and took the time to savor this post.

Peace to you and yours,

Linda Murphy said...

I loved your post and the blogs that are resounding with this message of peace are so uplifting.

I had a conversation with some of my immediate family members last night who informed me that they opted to have a movie night instead of watching the election because they were angry and didn't care that history was being made. It ripped my heart out because these are people I love dearly but are incredibly close-minded and unable to see the history and the joy of the moment. It bothered me all day, but reading all of these words of peace and resolve for the common good heartens me and I feel better in many ways. I am deeply encouraged by the path Americans have chosen to walk along together.

Kanani said...

It was an incredibly bad election. It seems that our society has gotten so used to harangues, personal attacks and people trying to act as if they're taking a higher moral ground, that we've come to view them as normal --worse, acceptable.

It isn't. From the effigies of both Sarah Palin and Barak Obama hung in trees before Halloween, to the attacks all sides made on one another, I hope to never have to live through one like this again.

But peace to you! And thank you for visiting my blog.

jmb said...

How nice that you included your sister today. May she be at peace too. One day we hope we will all have peace on earth.

Big Eyed Gal said...

Better late than never... :)

I love your post and the angel on your peace globe.

Peace to you and your loved ones.

Big Eyed Gal
Wapsicle Popsicle

The Chronic Shopper
Vital Sighs

Unknown said...

You’ve created a exceptional BlogBlast for Peace post. Thank you!


Mimi Lenox said...

And thank you for commenting on so many peace bloggers' posts. You are everywhere I go today. That is the true spirit of Dona Nobis Pacem.


Raven said...

Thanks mimi - now i feel guilty, though. I had wanted to visit them all but this has been a rare very busy week for me and I only made it about half way through. I may try to go back and visit some more tomorrow even if I'm very late... especially now that you have given me such undeserved praise.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

I'm still visiting peace globes because the wonderful truth is - there are so many! I enjoyed the back-and-forth dialogue about saying adios to Bush and his despicable administration.

I won't mince words, because I'm Canadian and don't have to pretend to respect a hypocritical spoiled brat who took his country for a ride and trashed it into a cement pylon.

I cannot tell you how relieved your neighbors north of the border are that Obama was elected president by a record turn-out of voters. Hearing that so many went out to vote, my husband and I were actually frightened if that meant McCain had gotten in. That would mean that real, true Americans had voiced their feelings and it would be impossible to blame it on the vote-fixing W.

But Americans really did speak.And they spoke for hope and for peace.

I love your peace globe, Raven, and the story behind it. Peace to you!

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Would you mind if I posted your peace globe on my blog for my Thursday Thirteen this week?

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