The most precious thing I receive along with the contributions for our collaboration in peace are hand written notes from all over the world. Some are even written on hand-made cards! I think with the advent and popularity of social media we forget that time is the thing that we can give each other that goes unappreciated. A quick text, a two-second post on Facebook, a micro-second "like" to some comment...they simply don't compare with the image I get when I receive a hand-written note. I can imagine the writer, someone I probably don't know, bent over for a few generous minutes, guiding their hand carefully over a piece of blank paper, forming the characters that make up the precious words. Really a lost art. Thank you all for taking the time.
About a month ago I received a wood block in the post from Maria Arango Diener. Before that I had donated 45 dollars to a charity that is hoping to raise funds to make a huge 160 piece Peace Puzzle.
All the applicants over the world have received their pieces and will engrave an image that represents the word ‘Peace’ So in time the pieces will be sent back and the puzzle complete and a print made and a book published.
I thought long and hard about my ‘picture’ because Peace is a big word with many meanings. Not just a peaceful scene that we might see and feel in our gardens, parks and countryside; but the direct opposite to war, conflict and adversity!
There are many children in this world who rarely experience peace not even in their beds at night. They and their families fight for peace with every living breath.
I live in a country where we have enjoyed peace for a long time; but our children, while safe need to be educated and be aware of the big picture.
In the 1990s my youngest child went on a demonstration in London to march against a war in Afghanistan. It was a massive rally and she wore a ‘T’ shirt designed and made by a colleague in the Library, bearing a peace sign. Her DMs not black like a soldier might wear but bright blue and dotted with red flowers. She and thousands more marched that day singing songs of peace and hope. While they didn’t win that day; we did go to war; the experience instilled in her a mistrust of authority and the need to continue marching for active, long lasting peace that we take so much for granted.
I hope my tiny investment in the project will go some way to raise awareness and promote the need for peace and peaceful action against adversity not with more weapons but pictures.
Washington, North CarolinaTo this ardent reader my block resembled an open book, and there are few hours more peaceful than those spent reading. Additionally, global peace needs a foundation of access to universal public education, public libraries, and lots of bookstores.
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