Letters from Home

Peace is the Word

On Setting Peace in StoneSetting Peace in Stone

“Compassion is kindness. What we say or do in the name of compassion rarely is.”

from Karen Maezen Miller today, via TweetDeck.

This weekend, I cleaned a closet.

And felt like a minor superhero.

I imagine what Jimmy Carter must feel like, in those moments of action, when he has achieved some kind of agreement between two warring factions.

I imagine what a single mother must feel, when she reaches 10 p.m. and collapses into cushions that hold her. She scans her kingdom– two sleeping children, folded laundry, two organized backpacks, a clean apartment, and lunches packed– and exudes pleasure’s sigh.

I imagine a season of hunger. Then I imagine taking one hungry soul and stuffing that barren heart with hope and love. And filling that belly with bread.

We can stand still alone. But that stillness vibrates with every action that came before us — ours and the tangle of every one attached to it. This is the cost of one peaceful moment.

Yes. I understand, sure. If we choose to act, that action will cause something equal and opposing to fight back at us. External forces, internal critics. Blood and anger and humiliations, galore.


We can stand still alone. It isn’t easy. But pretty soon a flock of twittering birds are singing our chorus with us. Holding rallies to gather momentum. Reminding the world that all the stillness and its actions, when rolled together, barrel through the apathy like a mountain-carving river.

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