Saturday, December 22, 2007

World Peace Day #1 or #2

"Some say I'm a dreamer"
West Odessa, Texas

"but I'm not the only one"
Odessa, Texas

I hope one (or both) of these photos invokes a sense of peace. Which photo do you prefer?

Because the World Peace Day begins at 12:08 a.m. CST December 22 this year, I have opted to post Saturday's post of This or That a day ahead! (Thank you to Sue at Sacred Circle Mandalas for alerting us.) This is in case you want to participate at exactly 6:08 UT, the Winter/Summer solstice.

Yes, that's right. I hadn't thought of that before, that it is both the Winter and Summer Solstice. Having Lisa from New Zealand as a bloggin' friend has made me very aware of that fact. And if I was Queen of the World, I would declare we make both the Winter/Summer and Summer/Winter Solstice World Peace Day. Peace deserves more than one day, why not two? Or more. Everyday would be better.

So how to celebrate and pray for World Peace Day?
  • Hum, sing, shout along with John Lennon's Give Peace A Chance in this video of his second Bed-in for peace, recorded on 1 June 1969 in Room 1742 at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Canada. (Also, his Imagine would be an excellent choice.)
  • Memorize a Peace quote from Then vow to live it.
  • Learn the word "Peace" in many other languages.
  • Donate to your favorite organization that promotes peace and non-violence. My personal choice is Amnesty International. Or maybe Rest assured you are "not the only one."
  • Think back to when you were a kid and loved browsing your grandmother's National Geographic. Keep learning more about other cultures at Centres for International Cultural Learning out of Canada. This is an awe-inspiring site where you have your choice of countries, and a pull down menu with different cultural questions discussed.
  • Avoid an "us" and "them" attitude. Familiarize yourself with the vast array of religions in the world, and such varied ways of rejoicing and honoring our Universe. Try the site As Ghandi said, "All religions are different roads converging to the same point; what does it matter that we take different roads, so long as we reach the same point?"
  • Fold white paper cranes (a symbol of peace) using this splendid animated instruction.
  • Plant something. Yes, even in the dead of winter you can plant. See Trudi Davidoff's wonderful instructions and devotion to winter sowing in all sorts of recycled containers (that's part of the fun) at The solstice is the traditional day allotted for this adventure for those in winter.
  • And lastly, if none of these ideas appeals to you, there may be one more option for joining in on December 22, albeit usually a rather privately shared one (or not shared,as the case may be). "One" spelled with a Big O.
  • Of course, you can always post about Peace on your blog. Any day. Any time.
I'll close with the first lines from an excellent poem and poet I just discovered while surfing for this post. "Pray for Peace" by Ellen Bass (you can read all of it here.)
Pray to whomever you kneel down to:
Jesus nailed to his wooden or plastic cross,
his suffering face bent to kiss you,
Buddha still under the bo tree in scorching heat,
Adonai, Allah. Raise your arms to Mary
that she may lay her palm on our brows,
to Shekhina, Queen of Heaven and Earth,
to Inanna in her stripped descent.

Then pray to the bus driver who takes you to work.
On the bus, pray for everyone riding that bus,
for everyone riding buses all over the world.
Drop some silver and pray.

Waiting in line for the movies, for the ATM,
for your latte and croissant, offer your plea.
Make your eating and drinking a supplication.
Make your slicing of carrots a holy act,
each translucent layer of the onion, a deeper prayer.

Here's to praying deeply, however you choose to send out and up your prayers today.


Lisa Sarsfield said...

Wow!I'm first.That dosn't happen often!
I some how missed it was WORLD PEACE DAY today (it's the 22nd here already...) so thankyou for letting me know. I find your translations very interesting.
Blue is a peaceful colour when it's this sort of shade and seeing as though they both have this colour it requires me to look further into the photo. Find the point of difference that speaks to me...and it is the Moon in photo 1. I love it. Not only does it remind me of solctice it also makes me want to lay down on the grass (which I can't see but imagine) and lay there looking at skyscapes and daydreaming in the sun. I can feel the breeze on my face, the solitude and PEACE as my mind drifts away...

John (Copyright JMM 2007) said...

Two is remarkable and a gem. You captured a delicate wonder.

It is a stark pancake of man made and that which is grander.


Joy Logan said...

Your photos are stunning,but I've told you that already. Ok question,my grandfather was Roy Cate then they changed to Cates in later years,we laso have an American Indian in our background,how bout this for last name info? I met another online art friend married named Cates too funny,it's not a common last name.

Hannah's Mom said...

#1. It is awesome... i love the colors. :) You take such amazing photos.

dianeclancy said...

Hi Debi,

Thanks for this heads up and the details!

I prefer #1 because of the flow of energy in it ... but I think #2 is more evocative of peace.

~ Diane Clancy

Bobbie said...

#1 picture gives me hope that there will be peace, and #2 brings peace to me. So, having said that and the current state of affairs, I will go for #1.

Anonymous said...

And when the dawn breaks
I see my fellow man
And on the flat-screen
we kill and we're killed again
And when the night falls,
I pray for peace
Try to remember peace (visualize)

-Neil Young

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's just my mood, but though I can see how the graceful lines of #2 could evoke a sense of peacefulness, both immediately brought to mind the many walls we have built in the past, and the many that are still being built today. And blue sky or not, that didn't make me think of peace.

Your entry, though, gives amply reminder that people out there still do pray for peace. Thanks for that.

Anonymous said...

Ample, sorry.

Andi said...

#2. I like the way the clouds break at the top to show the light. It's peaceful.

Bev said...

Two is stunning (I am running out of superlatives here on the blogs, and may ask for a Thesaurus as a last minute Christmas present lol)

I think John sums it up very well. You've got some sort of industrial building, metallic and dull grey. There is a dramatic contrast between this and the blue sky beyond. I like the way the clouds look so heavenly, being so high up and with hints of celestial light shining through.

You could be a dreamer perhaps working in such a landscape and imagining better things, but I can't put it better then John!

Frances said...

I have an award for you over at my blog, Debi.
I prefer the first picture as a photo but the second as an evocation of Peace. The first one is more industrial and less peaceful to me. So I vote for 2 if you are looking for a vote for peace and 1 if it is a vote for artistic preference.

Joy Logan said...

Thanks for that article Debi it was too funny. Did you ever read Augusten Burroughs books,reminded me of them. What a interesting woman that "blue Christmas" mom was LOL! I know my family thinks I am kooky,I tell them it's because I am an artist,lol.

Fawzan Barrage said...

I will go with #1, although it reminds me of the wall that Israel is building in the west bank (Not a peaceful thought) but I like the aggressive compostion and the powerful lines in the image.

Sweet Irene said...

A very good post, Debi. It is good of you to spend so much time and energy on this subject. Probably we spend to little time actively thinking about it. And I vote for picture number two, because I find it the most peaceful. A very serene wall. Not like the walls that separate us from one another.

The Dutch word for "peace" is "vrede". Irene is the Goddess of peace. So Irene wishes you "vrede."

Debi said...

Thank you everyone for voting, especially at this busy time of year!

Lisa, there was grass at the bottom of this photo, but sadly so were "stickers" -- the kind of weed you definitely wouldn't want to lay in, else your peace be very disturbed. ;)

Ah John. Yes, the contrast of the man-made with the even grander. And I loved your take on your blog as well.

Hello Joy. I emailed you a reply. It may take some time, but there is -- as the saying goes -- only six degrees of separation. I'm glad you liked the article and that it tickled your funny bone as it did mine.

Windy and Mom, thank you for your enthusiasm always.

Diane, I would have to agree with your astute observations.

Anon, it is heartening, isn't it? That there are people who care deeply for peace, although it sometimes seems so rare.

Andi, thank you for your vote. Sometimes seeing these wonders myself -- the way the clouds broke at the top -- amaze me.

Bev, LOL. You, the clever wordsmith that you are, need a thesaurus? HEB is a grocery store, made out of some sort of concrete. I liked the contrast, too. I know this is lazy photography, but I took it through the windshield while waiting for a taco order.

Frances, thank you for your vote(s) -- and for explaining which vote and why. I do appreciate these explanations. They are very helpful to me, and sometimes quite different than how I see things since I see the "whole" thing that you don't get to see. The building in #1 is merely a rusty shed. The building in #2 is a artsy-shaped grocery store.

Fawzan, #1 came off more aggressive than it felt being there. Isn't that interesting about photography? How something can be transformed.

Irene, thank you for the compliment on the post. I wondered if any read it -- it is much too busy a time of year right now -- but it was a nice contemplation for me to spend time researching it. A kind of prayer for peace, if you think about it. I then googled Irene and how appropriate that the Goddess of Peace gives me the word for peace in Dutch. Love it.

This or That is a tie this time, so I guess it will be up to me to be the tie-breaker. I's see...


D.C. Confidential said...

I'm going with #1 on this set. I like the moon above the barn/building and I like the lines here, too. The diagonal and vertical combination is evocative and draws the eye upward.

Yep, I'm goin' with #1 here...