Peace as the New Superpower

It was a wonderfully happy anniversary yesterday. The birthday of one of our nephews.

It was also a horrible anniversary, as far more people know: that of the infamous terrorist attack on US soil in September of 2001. You understand my intense desire to have the former event wholly eclipse the latter. I don’t demand that all the world celebrate our nephew’s birthday (though our niece and any one of our nine nephews would all be well worth the attention), but I would absolutely recommend that the whole planet get a lot less warlike and a lot more humane overall.

If grey is the new black, we should be mature enough by now to play well together.

Americans, first and foremost. We may be barely over 200 years old as a country, but we’re old enough to know better than to tear around the planet saber-rattling and messing around in every other country’s business whether they like it or not. Aren’t there enough things to keep us occupied in more peaceful pursuits? Many such valuable actions could probably be funded on the strength of one month’s national military expenses, things that might not only make the country better educated, healthier, more scientifically advanced but also better able, even, to improve conditions for other people, other nations.

Call me naive.

But first, here’s a nice little bouquet, from me to you. It’s a small thing, I know, but I’d like to start somewhere. You’re welcome. Pass it on, please.digital illustration

Duck!

Yep, someone’s sneaking up on you. Or some thing is just about to get you. It’s really inevitable that stuff is about to happen and make you the punchline of the universe’s joke. That’s how it works. In fact, in a plus-perfect moment of synchronicity, despite my having written this post several days ago in preparation for posting on the 8th of September, I had a brain hiccup and completely forgot to press Publish on the appropriate day. So here I am giving you a two-fer in recompense. Pardon my pratfall!photo montageThe nice thing is that we’re all generally in line for the same sort of treatment, so when such craziness happens, the embarrassment of it all is rarely going to linger for long; soon enough, something silly will happen to somebody else in the room and the pangs of self-consciousness will be turned to sympathy for his or her plight, the mortification of being the center of derisive attentions muted by seeing them passed right along to another poor dupe. That is also how it works.photo montageI’m not saying that I enjoy being the buffoon of the moment, mind. In the space of the last few days I managed to both fall off a shallow curb (only a near-miss, as I was able to convert the tripping into an awkward but deep curtsy to the people nearby) and trip forward up a step onto a hardwood floor, whose grain will soon be emblazoned on my knee in a variety of flamboyant purple colors by tomorrow, all while injuring nothing more seriously than my scant supply of dignity. And I’m not proud of this lack of grace, merely cognizant that it’s not limited strictly to me and the joke that remains in strangers’ minds has a lot more to do with the hilarity of the situation than it does with remembering what unknown fool performed the ignominious stunt that so brightened their day.photo montageI’d love to think it possible to overcome and avoid all future Incidents of ridiculous stupidity and clumsiness simply because, once experienced and noted, they can be put to rest, but that is decidedly not how it works. So what I need to overcome and avoid is letting it get to me. I am bound by history, odds and my very nature to slip, fall, make egregious errors and squeeze a minimum of ten smaller mistakes into every day I’m alive, but nothing says I have to be defined exclusively by my failures and flops. Every once in a while I can work to turn such things to entertaining advantage. Who knows, if I pay attention, I might even see the little disaster coming and be able to duck in time to miss it and let it hit someone else for a change.

No Phobia of Goddesses Bearing Blessings

[Note: You should, however, skip the third frame if you’re arachnophobic.]photographic presentation of textphoto

A Beautiful Sun-Baked Land

photoBread for the morning came from five-o’clock ovens fired with passion and streaked with musky, pungent olive oil; the steam rolled out of those great clay caves and up the terraced resin scented hills of vineyards’ cool and shadowed kiss. Inside the chalk-white walls with their gauzy curtains strewn and the brick brown pavers all around worn by pacing wiry dogs and treading cats, the whole countryside slept, immobile, somewhat far retreated in their beds before the wavy rays of fourteen-karat sun-baked into turquoise heat our ceiling of sky.

photo

Well Grounded

Defying Gravitygraphite drawingOnce upon a leafy glade, a pretty perch in sun and shade,

Where callas leapt into the day from darker places and made play

Of turning winter into spring full suddenly, the single thing

That was most lovely in that place, that clearing full of sweetness, grace

And peaceful calm, was that the birds alighting there, beyond all words

And dreams of nature, sat quite still and quiet, and a subtle thrill

Of magic held the place in thrall–as if amid a concert hall

The orchestra fell silent, yet their silver melodies still set

The air a-quiver, pulsing, live with such wild music as to thrive

Beyond its moment and to sing whether the birds sat or took wing–

The butterflies that came around this glade of gladness also found

It fit to sit rather than fly and flit about the gleaming sky,

And set their wings to capture sun rather than race about and run,

Their painted beauty neatly limned as though tall ships in port had trimmed

Their sails to rest and find surcease in this most gracious bay of peace–

And yet, the clearing’s finest gift was that no butterfly would lift

A wing disturbing stillness there, nor bird stir up the hovering air,

Nor even angel choose to float aloft, disturbing the remote

And pleasant sense of such remove as was existent in that grove–

All this to say, though all could rise and wing their way about the skies,

Each visitor the clearing drew found on arriving that she knew

It was a place whose joy and mirth might make her leap up from the earth,

Yet with serenity so blessed she chose instead to lie at rest,

By flight’s exertions not be led, but letting souls fly high instead.

Under Water

Fantastic Ocean

The sea has calls upon my soul, upon my heart, upon my will,

And if I drowned, I think I’d still rejoice the sea swallowed me whole,digital collage

For in my sight and in my dreams, the sea’s awash with magic grace

Not known by any other place than in its bottomless extremes,digital collage

And fantasy entwines with things that make imagination soar

Like birds and butterflies and more wild creatures than are real, whose wingsdigital collage

Embrace the spirit of the sweep of wave and current, saline skies–

Loveliness dazzling my eyes with all the treasures of the deep.digital collage

Solace in Silence

Let us look for our peace wherever we can. Let us embrace it and rest in it. And let us always share that peace with whomever, whenever and however we are able, inviting them all into our places of peace so that they and others all around the world, too, can find and disperse the sweetness of true and deep repose.

graphite drawing + text