Exploring Ways To Make Peace Within
Ourselves & the World

Women In Black Denver, Colorado

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Why Do I Write This Blog???

The easiest (and probably the most honest) answer to that question is: I don't know. It all started in the summer of 2005, when I went to Crawford, Texas ( a.k.a. the home of the prez's ranch, a.k.a. the home of Camp Casey) to support Cindy Sheehan. I wanted the world to know that, contrary to what one could read in the mainstream media, the peace movement was alive and well and large numbers of Americans did not support the war in Iraq. I wanted people to know that thousands of Americans were willing to travel to Texas and tolerate the heat, humidity, and bugs in order to support a grieving mother whose new purpose was to shine a light on the lies that led to the war and to bring home our troops so that no other mother would have to know the pain that she felt.

Over time, this blog has become more of an exploration of who I am, my spirituality, and how life works. I love life's complexities, exploring the shades of gray. I want to, as Rainier Maria Rilke said,

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."

Maybe my blog is just one big question about what is needed in order for people to take the time to love and cherish each other and our earth. Maybe someday, I will "live along some distant day into the answer."

In the meantime, thank you for joining me on my journey. I welcome you to share yours with me

 

Thursday, January 26, 2006

More Videos

It's movie day!

This one is a kinda cute (thanks Darla!): Computer Bush to Deliver State of the Union

I may have posted this one before. Oh well.... Eyes Wide Open

Thank you to Ben and One Good Move.org for Monkeys

posted by Carol at 8:05 AM 0 comments


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Matriotism

Cindy Sheehan, in her most recent article, describes matriotism. The feminine is rising.

Full article:Matriotism by Cindy Sheehan

Excerpts:

"Matriotism is the opposite of patriotism…not to destroy it, but to be a yin to its yang, and balance out the militarism of patriotism...

"A Matriot loves his/her country but does not buy into the exploitive phrase of "My country right or wrong." (As Chesterton said, that's like saying, "My mother, drunk or sober.") A Matriot knows that her country can do a lot of things right, especially when the government is not involved. For example, I know of no other citizens of any country who are more personally generous than those of America. However, a Matriot also knows that when her country is wrong, it can be responsible for murdering thouands upon thousands of innocent and unsuspecting humans. A true Matriot would never drop an atomic bomb or bombs filled with white phosphorous, carpet bomb cities and villages, or control drones from thousands of miles away to kill innocent men, women and children...

"Whether you are a male or female Matriot, Code Pink Alert, endorsed by Gold Star Families for Peace, is calling for an International Day of Peace on March 8 th…called for, organized by, and supported by women. Women and men with matriotic tendencies can get more info and endorse the call for peace at: www.womensaynotowar.org. It is past time for we Matriots to get together to stridently call for an end to the immoral bloodshed in Iraq...

"'It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens." ~ Baha'u'llah"

posted by Carol at 5:48 PM 0 comments


Friday, January 20, 2006

Paying Back Debts

I just read about the ninety-eight year old woman who left her estate to the government to pay down the national debt. "FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) - The federal government is reaping a $1.1 million windfall from the estate of an Ohio woman, but the money comes with specific instructions. Margaret Taylor's will says the government has to use her fortune to help pay down the national debt."

I could get critical and say that the money would be better used if it went directly to help others and that giving money to the government is at best a waste. But for some reason, I think it's sweet. She wanted to make a dent in the national debt. Instead of being part of the problem, she did what she could to help those alive now and those that will come after her.



posted by Carol at 5:33 PM 0 comments


The Gift

Denver Bronco cornerback, Domonique Foxworth, in his most recent Denver Post article, wrote about an experience he had after our Arvada MLK event. Here is what he said in his article, but don't stop when you are done with the article. There is more...

"Monday night I was fortunate enough to address the people at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. march and celebration in Arvada. When I concluded my speech and the ceremony had ended, I hugged several people and took countless pictures. But one person stood out - a man by the name of Harry Fuller.

"Harry approached me and handed me a magazine, saying only, "This is a gift for you." He shook my hand and turned to walk away. I looked down and saw that what he has given to me was an original copy of Life magazine from April 19, 1968, 16 days after Dr. King was assassinated. The almost 38-year-old magazine was in great condition and had the face of Mrs. King on the cover, grieving at her husband's funeral. Mr. Fuller's act of generosity was one of the best gifts I have ever received and truly embodied the spirit of Dr. King."

Domonique is 23. Harry gave away this 38-year-old magazine with no strings.

What happened next?

Domonique, or someone from his family, contacted Harry and invited him and his wife and son to sit with the Foxworths at this weekend's Broncos-Steelers play-off game - you know, the game that people are so excited about that they are practically offering to give away their firstborn children in exchange for tickets.

Looks like MLK is still doing his thing - building those bridges.


posted by Carol at 2:26 PM 2 comments


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Men Enjoy Seeing Bad People Suffer

(Don't go saying that I don't like men)

I stand firm on my belief that, in order to change this world toward peace, we need more females in power.

Full article: Study: Men Enjoy Seeing Bad People Suffer

Excerpts: The scientists scanned the brains of 16 men and 16 women after the volunteers played a game with what they thought were other volunteers, but who in fact were actors. The actors either played the game fairly or obviously cheated.

During the brain scans, each volunteer watched as the hands of a "fair" player and a cheater received a mild electrical shock. When it came to the fair-player, both men's and women's brains showed activation in pain-related areas, indicating that they empathized with that player's pain.

But for the cheater, while the women's brains still showed a response, men's brains showed virtually no specific reaction. Also, in another brain area associated with feelings of reward, men's brains showed a greater average response to the cheater's shock than to the fair player's shock, while women's brains did not.

A questionnaire revealed that the men expressed a stronger desire than women did for revenge against the cheater. The more a man said he wanted revenge, the higher his jump in the brain's reward area when the cheater got a shock. No such correlation showed up in women.

posted by Carol at 11:26 AM 0 comments


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Sanctity of Life

Today, California killed their oldest death row inmate the day after he turned 76.

Anticipating a possible replay of his September heart attack, Allen had asked prison authorities to let him die if he went into cardiac arrest before his execution, a request prison officials said they would not honor.

"At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life," said prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon. "We would resuscitate him."


Isn't there something a little cruel about reviving a man after his heart attack so that you can be the one to kill him?

Thinking about Iraq, New Orleans, AIDS in Africa, capital punishment.... I think that we need to have some conversations about valuing the sanctity of life.

posted by Carol at 5:07 PM 0 comments


We Shall Overcome

Yesterday, I walked Denver's marade in celebration of the life of MLK. This was Denver's 20th and my 4th. It was frigid cold when we gathered and began the walk, but the temps rose all the up to cold before it ended. It was a smaller crowd because of that - I've read estimates of 25,000 walkers as opposed to the usual 35,000.

Last night the celebration that we worked so hard on was a success. We had 225 people there, and the media covered us very well. Arvada has a population of over 102,000 people. White individuals or families make up 91% of the population. Black households hold only .7% of the population and 9.8% of the population are Hispanic. At the end, we all sang We Shall Overcome, led by the African-American gospel choir from Denver (I LOVE gospel!), a Caucasian quartet, and Bronco Domonique Foxworth. I hope that someone got a photo of them all holding hands up front. That was my favorite part of the night.


posted by Carol at 9:00 AM 0 comments


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Four Posts in One Day!!!

What would you do if another country invaded the U.S., and 100,000 of our citizens died because of it? AFSC Eyes Wide Open

Thanks again, Darla!

posted by Carol at 9:29 PM 0 comments


Happy Birthday, MLK

As we have worked to bring about the MLK Walk & Celebration that will take place tomorrow, I have been aware that we need to be careful that we don't glorify MLK, then go home and think that we did our duty to racism. This experience has shown me that MLK still lives. He brought together a dedicated, hard-working community that is bringing together the bigger community tomorrow. And in this process, we have connected with those in communities outside our own. It has been beautiful.

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools"
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

posted by Carol at 7:03 PM 0 comments


Feathers


I was playing around, trying unsuccessfully to get a photo to post here when I decided to check out a photo of a painting I did about four years ago. It looks pretty good, and the one I wanted to post wouldn't cooperate, so this is the one that is supposed to be here. I LOVE eagles and hawks and owls. It is a good day when one makes itself seen by me. I used no paintbrush to produce this painting of a golden eagle. For parts of the bird, I used a feather - all other parts are done with my fingers.

In 2001, I studied painting with Elver Barker (1920-2004). Before meeting Elver, I had not painted a thing since grade school. In 1968, Elver had his book, Finger Painting in Oils published. He especially used the technique for painting windblown bristlecone pines, giving them a 3D texture.




posted by Carol at 6:37 PM 0 comments


Laughing

A recent USA Today article informs us that the Pentagon is teaching military families to laugh.


Pentagon to families: Go ahead, laugh
By Gregg Zoroya, USA TODAY
When the stress of the war in Iraq becomes too severe, the Pentagon has a suggestion for military families: Learn how to laugh.

With help from the Pentagon's chief laughter instructor, families of National Guard members are learning to walk like a penguin, laugh like a lion and blurt "ha, ha, hee, hee and ho, ho."

No joke.

"I laugh every chance I get," says the instructor, retired Army colonel James "Scotty" Scott. "That's why I'm blessed to be at the Pentagon, where we definitely need a lot of laughter in our lives."

Scott, 57, is certified as a laughter training specialist by the Ohio-based World Laughter Tour, a group that promotes mirth as medicine. It touts scientific research that suggests chuckling can boost the body's immune system and decrease stress hormones.

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, says the Pentagon is committed to the program and values Scott's skills. "We sent him to the training," she says.

The laughter program was Scott's idea. It costs the military virtually nothing, because Scott already travels to states as a director of military family support policy.
KEEPING THEM IN STITCHES
Ways military families are being taught to laugh:

Penguin exercise: Waddle and flap hands as though they're fins.

Lion laugh: Open eyes and mouth wide while repeating "ha ha's."

Repeat "ho, ho, ha, ha, ha," while clapping on each sound.

He has taught National Guard family group leaders in Alaska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Idaho, and will do so in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida, he says. Another laughter trainer is working with folks in North Carolina.

"We believe our program prevents hardening of the attitudes," says Scott, in one of his wordplay aphorisms that beg for a rimshot. The founder and chief executive of the World Laughter Tour is psychologist Steve Wilson, who calls himself "Cheerman of the Bored."

"The guiding principle is to laugh for no reason. And that's one of the reasons it works so well for military families," Scott says. "There's a lot they have to be stressed over, a lot of worries, a lot of concerns."

As foolish as students might feel, Scott says he's lost only one participant: a Marine sergeant major who, Scott says, fled the room with a bad case of the giggles.

Mary Frances Booth, the wife of a retired soldier, took the class last year and is an ardent devotee.

She and her two daughters — Meaghan, 10 and Sarah, 8 — were sobbing after Booth dropped her husband at the Boise airport Sunday; he was headed for Afghanistan for work as a civilian contractor, she says. Then Booth called for one of the laughing drills.

"They rolled their eyes at me and thought, 'Mom's on her laughing thing again,' " Booth says. "(But) it made it a little bit better."

posted by Carol at 8:11 AM 0 comments


Friday, January 13, 2006

Connections

Just doing some searching on the internet to see who is checking out my blog (since most everyone who comes here is a lurker) and found my info on these two sites:

City of Brass (Thank you estarz)

AND AwesomoeterThis guy got the "Just Pretend It's All Okay" magnet info from a reader off of my site (by the way, I now have my JPIAO magnet on my bumper) :

Thank you!!! I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!!!

posted by Carol at 9:32 PM 2 comments


John Murtha on 60 Minutes This Sunday

Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., believes the vast majority of U.S. troops in Iraq will be out by the end of the year and maybe even sooner. In his boldest words yet on the subject, the outspoken critic of the war predicts the withdrawal and tells 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace why he thinks the Bush administration will do it

“I think the vast majority will be out by the end of the year and I’m hopeful it will be sooner than that,” Murtha tells Wallace, this Sunday, Jan. 15, on CBS at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

“You’re going to see a plan for withdrawal,” says Murtha. He believes Congress will pass it because of mounting pressure from constituents tired of the war that could affect the upcoming midterm elections.

posted by Carol at 3:34 PM 0 comments


Thursday, January 12, 2006

More on the Arvada MLK Candlelight Walk & Celebration

I had to post this one more time. I am so excited! The press release below is only a part of the story. The Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library lent us a 27 panel display about Martin Luther King's visits to Denver and other MLK memorabilia. That will be up at our event, along with 4 or 5 panels from the John Denver Peace Cloth. The Arvada Dance Theater is performing an inspirational MLK piece, and the gospel music will be performed by a black choir from Denver. Domonique Foxworth and Curtis May are wonderful people... and I could go on and on. Working on this event has truly been an experience I won't forget. The support for it is incredible.

Denver Bronco, Domonique Foxworth, to Keynote MLK Celebration Following Community Candlelight Walk
January 16th Event Will Include a Presentation by Bridge-Building Community Leader, Curtis May; Gospel Music; and Dance Performance.

The community is invited to celebrate and honor the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. by joining in a Candlelight Walk and Celebration on Monday evening, January 16th, 2006.

What: Martin Luther King Candlelight Walk and Celebration
A 1½ mile community walk followed by a gathering with informative talks, music, and entertainment.

When: Walk begins at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, January 16, 2006.
Celebratory Event takes place from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Arvada United Methodist Church, 6750 Carr Street, Arvada
Route of walk: from the church east on 68th Avenue to the Arvada Center at 6901 Wadsworth, then back to the church for the celebration.
Ample free parking will be available at the church.

How: Dress warmly and bring a flashlight or candle.
Both walkers and non-walkers are invited to attend the 7:00 p.m. celebration.

Arvada Mayor Ken Fellman will welcome participants to this first annual event that is sponsored by the Arvada Peace and Justice Commission with the support of the Arvada City Council and the Arvada United Methodist Church. Speakers will be:
· Community Activist, Ethan Hemming, as Master of Ceremonies
· Denver Bronco Cornerback, Domonique Foxworth – “What Martin Luther King Means to Me”
· Director of the Office of Reconciliation Ministries, Curtis May – “Removing Walls/Building Bridges”

Domonique Foxworth is a first-year Bronco cornerback. He graduated from the University of Maryland in 3 1/2 years while excelling in sports and community service. Domonique was drafted by the Broncos in April, 2005. Since then, he has been named NFL Rookie of the week, and Defensive Player of the Game twice. He writes a weekly column for the Denver Post and continues his community service efforts by working with Ambassadors for Literacy, a Denver non-profit organization.

Curtis May was born in Greensboro, Alabama in 1944. He worked in pastoral ministry for over thirty years, and is now the Director of the Office of Reconciliation Ministries. He has traveled to cities throughout the United States, South Africa, England, Northern and Southern Ireland, and the Philippines helping to organize and conduct racial reconciliation workshops. He currently resides in Pasadena, California.

The Arvada Peace and Justice Commission is comprised of Arvada area citizens dedicated to taking action for peace and justice. Members represent many beliefs and persuasions and maintain a single desire to serve our community.

posted by Carol at 2:49 PM 0 comments


Who Controls Bush? - Hilarious

That splains it!

From Darla in Oklahoma (who got it from a friend in Germany):

http://www.wimp.com/controlling/

posted by Carol at 12:26 PM 1 comments


Friday, January 06, 2006

The Essence

I am embarrassed to admit it
I want to be seen as kind
Compassionate non-judgemental
But I'm not
I watch you and size you up
And compare you to me
Guess that was what I was taught

So the other night
I thought the singer stunk
Tambourined too hard was boring
But I was wrong
Allah's voice whispered in my ear
And I remembered that it is S/He
Who is the singer and the song

posted by Carol at 3:35 PM 0 comments


Thursday, January 05, 2006

Gentle Genocide

See Mark Fiore's latest "Gentle Genocide" video here: http://www.markfiore.com/animation/gentle.html
There is a link at the end of the video that takes you to save darfur.org
to find out what actions you can take.

How easy it is to ignore the perpetrators of genocide and injustice when we are fed important stories about Britney, Paris and cats that call 911.

But, "How can you run when you know?" CSNY

posted by Carol at 10:56 AM 0 comments


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Seeing What Is

Sitting in a coffee house as
the voice of an angel in the next room
rides in on cappuccino fumes,
I look over at you
my friend
and realize
that I have never seen You.

I can only recognize that
which I already know.

God and I must dance more,
So I will see you
as She does.

posted by Carol at 9:15 AM 0 comments