The 15th was our 3rd Monthly scheduled post! Artists 4 Peace Against Violence
Thank you to all for your wonderful submissions.
I hope you had a chance to read/view them all…if not, I encourage you to go back and take a look.
Don’t forget to send in your submissions for November!
Artists 4 Peace Random Acts of Art and Kindness
Submission Deadline November 1st
Selected Entries will be posted November 15th
Feel free to send in any other Peace related art at any time for consideration to be posted throughout the month. Remember just blog as you normally would and then email a link to your post to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration!
Personal Note from Melanie:
Sorry I’ve been absent from comments and slow to reply to emails. I am out of town for a bit longer.
Keep emailing in your general submissions and monthly topic submissions but please know I will be a little while getting back to you.:)
Fill up my inbox at email@example.com for my return!
Time to announce the next topic!!
Artists 4 Peace Celebrations of Peace
We are looking for art. photography, essays, poetry…anything at all that focuses on love, peace and joy in celebrations. Think Holidays, Birthdays, Weddings…
Submission Deadline December 1st
Selected Entries will be posted December 15th
☮ ❤ 🙂
Gigi and Melanie
By the age of 3 she had suffered some pretty serious physical abuses at the hand of her mother. It’s hard to imagine a mother striking out at her child and beating them into submission. Mothers are supposed to protect and nurture build you up not tear you down. Mothers are supposed to teach their daughters how to be a woman. Mothers are supposed to give you wings and help you fly. All her life she never knew anything but darkness. Somewhere deep inside that little 3 year old it started to rain and the sad part is her life would be filled with storms and pretty soon she would begin to accept that as normal.
She’s said I love the rain, I identify with the rain, I love gloomy days and I would ask why and she said because I identify with them. Never really knowing why because you see, she had no memories. Of course she knew her name, her family, things like that but she had no memories of being small and it bothered her when someone asked her if she remembered this or that and she had no idea what they were talking about.
She did have one memory of darkness, being surrounded by darkness. Long into adulthood one day her mother said you are a bad influence to children, you have always been bad ever since the day you were born. She said it was as if the shades were pulled back and in her minds eye she saw a little girl crouched in the corner of a dark room, covering her head with her arms, bruised, dirty and her face stained with tears. The memory she could not get out of her mind. It bothered her when she awakened in the middle of the night she saw that little girl in her mind. Sitting at her desk one day all of a sudden it was as if a flood happened in her mind and someone had turned a movie projector on fast forward all these memories came forefront to her mind. At first she sat there stunned wondering why she would think such things. She called her sister and told her of the memories in her mind and her sister said, “Mom used to do that to me.” She could not breath, she didn’t know rather to cry or scream her voice was stuck in her throat. Then out came the story her sister had to tell and she cried for her sister. She was haunted by what her sister told her and then she realized all those memories that came flooding into her mind were her memories. Her mother locked her in her room or in the closet till her dad came home because that’s what you did with little girls that were bad. She was a shameful little girl her mother would say she begged her mom not to lock her up. She crouched in the corner because next came the swatting at her wildly with her hands and fists till she lay helpless on the floor in a puddle. Screaming at the top of her lungs her mother would pace outside the door. How scared she was, how she wished her mother would be pleased with her. One time she got out of her room and went to the couch and pretended she was asleep thinking if her mother saw her sleeping sweetly she would let her stay in the living room but that was not the case.
When she grew up she became very confrontational, aggressive, suspicious, argumentative, belligerent, questioning authority, and down right mean. She picked fights with bullies. What really got under her skin were people that mistreated others she’d fight them sometimes physically other times with her words. By the time she was an adult she learned she could not go around punching the lights out of an offender so she learned how to use her words. The very words you are reading right now. Because that little 3 year old girl is me.
“Two aspects of Peace are latent within Creation, but both are irrevocably intertwined.
The first aspect is Peace within Nature which is active only in the absence of the Human Species, or when the force of Unconditional Love is attained by the Human Species. In other words, the synergistic flow referred to as Nature is perfectly balanced when the chaotic influences of the Human Species are eradicated. The chaotic influences will cease only when: (1) the Human Species is removed, or (2) Unconditional Love is actualized (by the Human Species) as the primary causal phenomenon within Nature.
The second aspect of Peace is particular to the Human Species, i.e. applicable to the state of Human—to—Human interactions. The Human Species is a system of individual connections, characterized by the perpetual movement of energy, that channel the forms of influence from and to all Human Beings and creates a rippling effect throughout the Cosmos. The forms of influence (anger, hate, bias, compassion, empathy, etc) manifest as the moment—to—moment sensations projected or experienced by the individual, and ultimately reflect the dominant attribute(s), or collective force of influence contributed by the Human Species. This second aspect of Peace shapes the first aspect, and not vice versa.
Unconditional Love is the most powerful unified force of influence that can be actualized by the Human Species. Peace is the expression of that force.”
The Irreducible Primary
© Rob Taylor, 2011
She could have maintained the title
of being your loving wife
but to know a life of safety and peace
became her only choice
She could have kept pretending
in time things would be okay
but she chose to face the truth
and instead she walked away
She could have disregarded
all the love that she deserved
but she found an inner strength
over time she had reserved
She could have given in and stayed
made that sacrifice
but instead she walked her path alone
and found she had a voice
She could have…
but she didn’t…
and now she’ll never have that option…
A poem written years ago when hearing the news
about domestic violence. Walking away or staying,
neither are easy options; but there’s always the
hope that you remember you’re not alone and you
deserve to be loved.
In Post 260, I said I didn’t really want to write about being against violence — I wanted to write about being for peace. And then Sarah on AngloSaxonCeltCreates wrote her piece Against Violence — and stirred up the hornets’ nest in my head.
BEFORE THE INCITING INCIDENT
As long as there is fear and as long as there are inequities in the world then there will be violence. But preventing violence needs to start from where we are. It is much easier to prevent violence if issues are addressed before there is an inciting incidence. When I was a teacher, I was informed there was going to be a fight when one of my kids left my room. I kept that child with me – wow was she mad — and when the halls cleared I took her to guidance. The two kids ultimately were able to talk it out.
There is always a ripple effect. The peace keeper student who told me of the problem started the ripple. I then was then next ripple of peace and then the guidance councilor and ultimately the two girls who were going to fight found a peaceful solution.
The ripple effect could have gone the other way. The peace keeping girl could have been too afraid to tell me. I would have not intervened. The girls would have fought. In all likelihood their friends would have started to argue about whose side to take. The kids would have been punished by the administrators and then parents would have to choose sides….ripple after ripple.
BEFORE THE FIRST WORD
The first conversation starts in your head. The story you tell will determine a peaceful or violent end. A person cut me off on the highway. That is a fact. If I leave it alone and don’t add a story to the fact — it will merely be forgotten.
If I add a story that I am the luckiest person because the person having the bad day missed me. I feel great because I was so lucky and acknowledged there was nothing personal about the incident. There is a peaceful ending for both of us.
If I add a story that the other driver should have seen me — therefore he is an incompetent driver and should be punished — and in fact he probably did it on purpose — and he needs to be shown a lesson — so I go after him to cut him off so that he’ll know what it felt like — we now have a case of road rage. There is a violent ending for both of us.
BEFORE THE BIG WAR
Before a big war breaks out there are usually some smaller skirmishes — disagreements — wrangling for power. There are usually many opportunities to stop the violence before it rages out of control. Just as it takes practice to be an effective peacekeeper — it takes practice to be an effective bully. Whether we are a country sending troops to battle or we’re dragging our spouse to court — there were probably many opportunities for the two sides to make peace.
We need to start looking for those opportunities if we want peace rather than violence. Before the big war we need to see our “enemy’s” fear and rather than capitalize on it for our own gain — we need to find a way to be present in the moment so that we can find a way to disperse the fear and open a space for peaceful conversation.
What do you think?
I don’t often write political pieces (or comment on them) because I’m painfully aware of my ignorance in this arena. However, this month on “Artists For Peace” the topic is “Against Violence” and I felt compelled to write.
I keep reading blog posts about how we should fight against injustice and violence, etc. They seem to think that “turning the other cheek” is about ignoring the problem or about cowardice. However, as far as I am concerned, there is nothing braver than to meet violence with nonviolent resistance. You cannot fight fire with fire. That just leads to escalation, and builds up more hatred, resentment and desire for revenge: a chain of violence. There is nothing braver than to risk it all to stand up for your belief in peace; fight with the flames of your heart. I can’t say whether I would be brave enough to do it myself because I haven’t been tested. Maybe I would be brave enough if my children were fully grown and independent, I don’t know.
You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
I know that if a nation were to give up its arms in today’s world it would be a suicidal and irresponsible thing to do. If you live surrounded by people who bear arms then to practice non-violence is very risky. However, I still believe that the right to not bear arms is something that we should work towards for nations and for individuals.