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Showing posts from January, 2015

Peace and the Language of the Unheard

I was quite moved by Thorn Coyle’s recent post, Disturbing the Peace , because she put her finger on something that has been itching at me for some time. In her blog post, Thorn declined the invitation I took, earlier this month, to write something about best practices for peace . “Organizing with Black leaders and communities of color affected by police militarization and systemic harassment and imprisonment has diminished my talk of peace,” she wrote.  “Talk of peace can be used to stifle anger… Talk of peace can all too often wish to rush toward niceness, toward a balance that doesn’t exist, and toward a veneer that will soon crack.  Before there can be peace, there must be justice.” Short response:  Boom.  Nailed it. Longer response:  I’m reminded of John Woolman , the great 18th Century Quaker advocate against slavery, who worked tirelessly to remind Friends of exactly this point, when he wrote, “Oh, that we who declare against wars, and acknowledge our trust to b

Every Minute Peace: Releasing My Inner Corgi

It’s customary at this time of year for us to wish one another “Peace on Earth, goodwill towards men,” but though we say it every year, I look around and see little changed by it.  It’s as if we think that simply wishing for peace is enough… Or perhaps, as I once did, we see peace work as something that we do part time, as a job or a hobby in which we fill out petitions or practice civil disobedience, and then go home. We have not learned that peace must become a part of everything we do, as integral to our selves as our own skin, breath, and bones. Learning this lesson has been at the heart of my spiritual journey, and of my efforts to bring my spiritual life into all parts of my day. I have been a Pagan for most of my adult life; when I became pregnant with my now-grown daughter, that embodied experience awoke in me a reverence for the embodied presence of spirit in all things.  Both my body and the Universe suddenly seemed alive and full of soul to me, and I reached