Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve

It's the day before Christmas. My little town is moving -- all over -- people in cars, on foot, in stores, on streets, everywhere. I'm not there. I'm in a quiet space listening to poetry, Hafiz and Rumi. I wondered how many people in how many countries celebrate Christmas. I asked Jeeves but there were too many answers and I decided I didn't need to know. I get on the pensive side when confronted with serious consumerism. And that's what Christmas has been to me for some time -- food for thought.

Bob Muth admins a local mailing list. He writes well with passion and steadfastness and includes peace writings and related information. Two nights ago he passed on one of Mary Oliver's poems titled "Wage Peace." I quite often save the posts and tuck them away in my electronic library. Three phrases of her poem are part of the impetus of my life's current activities:
  • Remember your tools
  • Don't wait another minute
  • Wage peace
May we all take these words and words like them, find them in our lives, practice them in our hearts and wage peace there. There is no time like today.
Mary Oliver

Wage peace.
Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
Breath out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music, learn the word for thank you in three languages.
Learn to knit, and make a hat.
Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
Imagine grief as the outbreath of beauty or the gesture of fish.
Swim for the other side.
Wage peace.
Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious.
Have a cup of tea and rejoice.
Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Don't wait another minute.
Wage Peace.

Peace be with you all, family, friends, neighbors.

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