Today is Sunday. Today is the day before 2018. Today is the commitment to work toward Peace, to support those who do and to make the most of the days.
I climbed the mountain by the arduous path fraught with danger
It came in boulders of resistance that threatened to crush my spirit
It opened before me in small chasms of denial that dared to swallow my resolve.
It ignited the brush with a flame of warmongering and the smoke of propaganda filled the air attempting to mask the truth.
I made it to the summit and I found her there. She was neither old nor young.
Peace smiled but her eyes were filled with a deep sadness.
“Few make it this far,” she said with a sigh.
I held her hand and we looked out over the world. The blood of war ran like lava across vast areas of the earth carrying along the bodies of men, women and children.
“How do we stop this?” my voice crackled in my throat
Peace pointed behind me at those who made the climb after me. It starts with each of us. We grasped hands and made a chain…
More wars are on the horizon. We can”t pretend any longer. If we pursue peace then we are part of the solution.
Will we let 2018 roll by and stay silent?
Who speaks for the children?
Today is Saturday. Today as the bombs still fall over Yemen, as a young girl from Gaza is imprisoned for protecting herself and her mother is imprisoned for visiting her, and 2018 fast approaches in a few days, I want to reflect on why I am a pacifist, why I am a member of Veterans for Peace, why I pray, work and strive for Peace.
Peace is not just the absence of violence, it is the absence of justice, the absence of respect for all life.
Paul, Matt and I did not choose to be pacifists over night. This was a journey long in the making. Although some people including some of my friends do not share my position, I am not swayed in the least.
I will not speak for my guys who have their own reasons, but what I can tell you that all of our lives, we have known conflict and war.
I joined the Army when I was 18 years old. I wanted to go to college and I did not have the money to do so. I was encouraged to join by my father who had served in the Navy. He told me I would get an education and the GI Bill. Well, I got an education alright.
I remember when my recruiter picked me up late one evening to get me on a bus to Alabama where I would start Basic Training. On our ride to the bus station, he told me I could get all the free contraceptives I wanted because I could, “Sleep with as many guys as I wanted and the Army would pay for it.”
Nice thing to say to an 18 year old girl, who lived by her own prescribed morals that did not include this type of behaviour. Not only did he disrespect me, he disrespected the military organization for which he recruited and all those who were serving regardless of who they were.
I decided that night that I probably made a terrible mistake. I was idealistic, young and I believed I was serving to protect those
I loved. What I learned was that a whole bunch of people like myself were fed the same kind of propaganda. We were noble in our desire and our hearts were pure; but certainly not those who called the shots.
I should have learned after seeing friends’ fathers and brothers coming back (if they came back at all) from Vietnam. We didn’t talk about this war in school at all. As a matter of fact, does any school in this country discuss the wars this country has been involved in except perhaps the American Revolution?
The issue is none of these wars are about protecting the US, they are about aggression and claiming resources. If you don’t study history and talk about wars, then we are doomed to repeat them again and again. I continue to hear the same kinds of messages from those who were in the last several wars as I did from Vietnam Vets. Nothing has changed except the countries upon which war has been perpetrated and the faces of victims (everyone is a victim in war). What have people done to deserve war?
Peace..can it ever exist?
Today is Friday. Today, it was really cold. I spoke to Matt this evening and it’s been quite cold in northern Kentucky, too.
The thing about frigid weather, it eventually becomes warm again and winter gives way to Spring.
Today, I thought about the young Palestinian girl, Ahed Tamimi. If you don’t know the story, she is a 16 year girl who was imprisoned for slapping an Israeli soldier who slapped her. It’s a continuation of a heartbreaking struggle.
I see our children standing up against tyranny and injustice and many of them are paying a very high price for it.
We have come to a time in history when challenging certain peoples, certain nations is treasonous. To point out the cruelty of others falls on deaf ears. There is a carte blanche for certain nations to brutalize others and it is considered justified.
There is a frigidity of heart that allows those to shoot and imprison children. There is a death of morals, a death of goodness, a death of humaneness. People who participate in these acts and those who justify and support them are empty shells, nothing but tombs with dead souls inside.
For all the Ahed Tamimis out there, you make us, who see your struggle, want to be better than we are.
God bless the children who want a better world not just for some but for everyone.
Today is Wednesday. Today, I need to hear victories even if they are small, dont’you?
Amy-Beth, this for you. I know how long you have been suffering. I can’t remember when we started to write each other; it”s been awhile.
I know how you’ve been threatened, harrassed, intimidated and tortured. I know how in your soul you wondered if there would ever be an escape from the evil. I remember telling you how my son was abused and tortured in the same state.
You are one of the most courageous women I have had the privilege to get to know. You could have given in to despair; but, you did not. You held on and you encouraged my son even though you could barely raise your own head to see what lay before you.
People think we are crazy when we talk about the evil that has been perpetrated against family members of those who stand against injustice.
My heart rejoices and my eyes fill with tears that you can be with the someone you adore.
Because of you and your brother, my hope is strengthened that one day I will have my son back.
You are a beautiful soul and I am a better person for connecting with you. Thank you for your inspiring cards and for making my son smile.
I wish the sweetest blessings on you and your brother.
Love is a force that can’t be defeated, a victory that gives us a strong heart in the coming days.
Peace and much love.🌹💝🌹💝
Today is Tuesday. Today, I know that light comes after the dark. If we could just remember this. If we could just take a deep breath before making decisions that will affect someone else’s life or even our own.
Today, I touched base with someone I considered a dear friend. I hope for only good and beautiful things to shower this friend.
Life has so many doors and sometimes the ones we enter through are familiar, safe; some are new and uncharted. Other doorways are not well lit, full of things that might make us stumble and fall.
Sometimes we mistake things because we don’t see them clearly. This is when we need our flashlights, torches if you will.
Maybe we need to be torches for each other shining light on the murkey things so we can all see better.
I hope I can always be a torch and not the dead battery. I hope I can be one who helps bring clarity, not confusion.
Much love to friends past, present and future.
Thank you Matt, for being a non judgemental and decent human being with a large heart for compassion. You have no idea the mark you leave on others’ hearts.
Peace and blessings dear souls.
Today is Monday. Today is Christmas. Today, I am looking out at the freshly fallen snow as Christmas tree lights reflect back at me like jewels in the window.
Today, I replayed some wise words from my friend Stanley. He spoke about airing our differences like adults (I’m paraphrasing here).
I don’t hold grudges, I don’t seek vengeance, I believe in second chances, I want mercy so I am willing to extend mercy. Paul and Matt are the same kind of people.
So, during this Christmas season and the year 2018 fast approaches, I don’t want to fight any battles that aren’t about getting my son home and others free.
I sincerely wish you peace, blessings and a chance to make a positive difference in the life/lives of others.
Merry Christmas with warm hugs and love.