Friday, July 23, 2010
The following might be an odd pairing of topics. Welcome to my world. These days I am jolted between everyday stuff and tragic memories, between the joy of a five-year-old who just won't stop learning and the enveloping worry that tugs at me when I think he might not remember his grandmom. So let's just get started.
How do you define peace?
There are people in my life that think of peace as a state of stillness – not necessarily equilibrium, just mostly quiet. A place where no one is rocking the boat. I see peace differently, as something that must be worked toward, as something in motion and sometimes thorny. I see authenticity as essential to it, and I believe that when authenticity or fairness is violated, one must speak out, and, contrary to what some would believe, I never do this lightly.
Peace is not a static place. Peace is a collaboration, an exploration.
In March of 2003, when the world showed up to protest the imminent invasion of Iraq by the United States, Mike and I went to San Francisco to join in. We did not stand, flatly in one place, we walked, all of us, washing down the streets of the city.
Now, if what you are interested in is a static place, you are in luck, there is such a place. A place where nothing changes, ever. I'm talking, of course, about the boardwalk. Any boardwalk, take your pick, as long as it has funnel cake and men trying to swish a basketball through a hoop to win a giant stuffed smiling banana for some chick in short shorts and MC Hammer blaring from the speakers and people screaming as they dive however many stories in a rickety car down a track and people displaying tattoos on all kinds of body parts and skeeball, there must be skeeball.
And the truth is that I'd give a lot if more of life were like the boardwalk - unchangeable. Peace? Sure! Peace need only show up and it would take its place next to Love and Friendship and all the other immutables in line for the Tilt-a-Whirl. It's just that that kind of Peace sometimes makes you throw up.