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Peace Day

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International Day of Peace

September 21, 2012

Join in braiding fibres of relationship!


Celebrating the Fabric of Life!!

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       Oh, yes!  Celebration, celebration.  And, how can one     celebrate without dance??  And, if dance, one must include the slivery smooth undulations of fabric, silky fluid fabric. 

I love John O’Donohue’s work and dance in celebration to these words from “Axioms for Wildness”…..

      “Feel the seamless silk of the ocean Womb you in ancient   buoyancy.”

  And, John O’Donohue’s poem, “For Celebration,” in To Bless the Space Between Us:

      Now is the time to fee the heart, Let all intentions and worries stop, Free the joy inside the self, Awaken to the wonder of your life.

Open your eyes and see the friends Whose hearts recognize your face as kin, Those whose kindness watchful and near, Encourages you to live everything here.

See the gifts the years have given, Things your effort could never earn, The health to enjoy who you want to be And the mind to mirror mystery.

May you celebrate the fabric of life today and mirror the mystery.

Peace,   Karen

Tapestries as Integration…..

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“…each one different from the other, but we are entwined with one another in one great tapestry.”

These words from Rosemary Crow’s hymn perfectly express the image of uniqueness retained while recognizing our oneness, our commonality as a global tapestry of all people.  As such, our ability to celebrate the diversity that makes for a stunning and colorful is called to fore. 

To embrace our own shadow, to embrace those members of our family who irritate us, to embrace those in the community who hold beliefs and lifestyles differing from our own,  to embrace cultures and faith traditions that conflict with ours, and to embrace every lowly blade of grass on this amazing planet, is to integrate all the threads of life into one great tapestry.

Maya Angelou said, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”  I would add, “no matter what their color, gender, sexual orientation, faith tradition, culture, socio-economic status, body size, political affiliation……etc., etc.”

Peace comes when we recognize we are all in this together.


Tapestries….. Integrating self, others, the larger world

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From individual fibres, a world of strength and beauty we are creating.

Joining, connecting, unifying. A single fibre entwines with another, then another, until a fabric emerges…. a garment, a canvas. Creating harmony. Making beauty. Contributing to peaceful relationship to self, one another, and the larger world.  Peace.


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I am struck by how the word looks very close to “re-silence.” Perhaps that is its origin. For elasticity, the bouncing back after stress, trauma and grief, a period of silence aids the process. Like the elastic in a swim suit or a waist band, constant stretching, with no relief offered by a period of rest, the fibres soon go limp with exhaustion.

January was a period of “re-silencing” for me. A road trip through the desert Southwest allowed quiet sensory savoring, gentle exercise, and a chance for reflection.
Visits to textile exhibits in Santa Fe museums added zest, particularly the International Folk Art Museum. The African bridal dresses and the textiles of the Andes offered an array of intricate, elaborate, and beautiful creations from numerous cultures.

A featured exhibit on “The Arts of Survival, Folk Expression in the Face of Disaster” included symbolic fibre creations representing the resilience of people following natural disasters across the globe.

Quilts were created by women of the Sindh province of Pakistan from excess clothing sent by relief organizations following major flooding of the Indus River. These stunning quilts provided income as well as beauty for the recovery of the refugees.

Another quilt, “Bad News Quilt,” was created by Beatriz “Soco” Ocampe of New Orleans as a representation of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She used recovered sheets and blankets recovered from the home of friends. The two-sided quilt pays homage to the losses of New Orleans lives, homes, and security.

Flags and collages were created by Haitians who survived the earthquake that leveled much of Port-au-Prince in 2010. Young children, calling themselves Ti Moun Rezistans (Kid’s Resistance), collected debris to recycle into collages created with the help of radical arts collective members. The sale and focus of these art works provide income and hope.

Resilience. Bouncing back after ripping apart. Requires re-silencing in order to regain strength.

Yarns of Generativity…. the endless stash!

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Obviously, I am way-y behind in posting to this blog! Seems a lot like that endless stash…. such great intentions, but the reality of accomplishing it all presents an enormous hurdle.
So, I posted not during the wonderful month of November, Celebrating Diversity…. perhaps because I was celebrating diversity!

Ulrika Leander in her yarns of generativity

The birth of beautiful baby Eloise and the privilege of spending most of her first month with her and her elated and exhausted parents (my daughter and son-in-law) took top priority in October and part of November.  What a statement regarding  generativity…. the ability to initiate and to produce!

A retreat and three workshops in November added threads of productivity to my life’s weaving, while hosting our ENTIRE nuclear family (three adult children, their spouses, and five fantastic grandchildren) over the Thanksgiving holiday wove a November tapestry of satisfied beauty.

Generating, producing, creating, working. All are so important to our sense of worth and of making a contribution, leaving a legacy. Yet, balance is essential. A tendency to over-work is not uncommon in this success-driven culture.
Time to sit, to savor, makes the work worthwhile. Stepping back to review and to reflect on the tapestry we are weaving is as vital to our sense of generativity as the actual production.

So, my December wish for each of you as you find yourself in a frenzy of projects and activities is for PEACE in the process. Sip a cup of tea, savor the moment, breathe, and smile.

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